Safest Vehicles

SafeDad Picks the Safest Family Cars, SUVs and Minivans

My new car Top Picks and Runners-Up for 2016 must be IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award winners, have “Superior” rated front crash prevention systems, 5-star overall NHTSA crash test ratings and have 5-stars in four or preferably all five individual NHTSA crash test results.  Honorable mentions may be awarded based on more subjective factors, including carseat friendliness, availability of advanced safety features and value.

Safest New Sedans
Safest New SUVs
Safest New Minivans & 3-row SUVs

Many models just missed my picks due to very slightly lower crash test results or missing crash test results.  The qualifications were high to be able to select a smaller number of the very safest vehicles, even though many other models are almost as safe overall.

Many manufacturers still force consumers to buy the most expensive trim level(s) if they want a full set of advanced safety features, sometimes also requiring a pricey technology package on top of the high price of the premium model.  What good is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating if you can’t afford it or can’t find it on a dealer’s lot?

Kudos to Honda and Subaru for setting the trend to keep families safe at a reasonable price with Honda Sensing and Subaru EyeSight on most of their models.  Combine that with solid designs that perform well in crash tests and it’s no mystery why Honda and Subaru did so well in my 2016 picks for the safest family sedans, SUVs and minivans.

Top 10 Safest Affordable Used Cars for Teen Drivers

These are IIHS Top Safety Picks, earned “Acceptable” or “Good” ratings in the IIHS Small Offset crash test and have 4-Star or 5-Star overall ratings from the NHTSA.  Only compact and larger cars are included, generally those above 2,750 lbs. curb weight.  All have stability control and side curtain airbags standard, some have hands-free cellphone interfaces and backup cameras available.  All cost $10,000 or less in most areas, depending on model year and mileage.

Driving is one of the most dangerous activities your teen will ever do.  Please give them a chance in a crash and let them drive the safest vehicle available.

Want to splurge?  Buy a 2014 Subaru Forester or 2015 Legacy with EyeSight for around $20,000, or $200 to $250/month to lease a new one.   These ultra-safe models are also reliable, have great visibility and reasonably good handling, too.

*The S80 is included as a heavier, full size model with excellent IIHS results going back to 2007, though it lacks NHTSA test results.
* The 2011 Lancer was not tested by the NHTSA
* The 2012 Passat was not tested in the IIHS small offset test
* The 2012 Accord was not tested in the IIHS small offset test
* The 2012 Civic was not tested in the IIHS small offset test