Most people are on the lookout for the safest vehicle on the road when shopping for a new car. With constantly changing safety standards, testing methods, and collision-preventing technologies, this task can be a difficult one. If you’re considering purchasing a new car in 2018 and want to prioritize the safety of your family, we’ve made it easy for you to narrow down your options. Here are the top five safest cars on the market that will help protect you in the case of a car accident.
About IIHS Vehicle Safety Ratings
Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests all new vehicles for two main aspects of safety: crashworthiness and crash avoidance and mitigation. The IIHS tests vehicles for side impacts, moderate overlap front impacts, rear collisions, roof strength, headlights, car seat latches, and much more to ascertain its safety score. The automotive industry widely accepts the IIHS’s top picks as the safest vehicles on the market that year.
In 2018, only 15 vehicles made the cut for Top Safety Pick+, compared to 69 vehicles in 2017 and 79 in 2016. Part of the reason for such a drastic difference is a number of strengthened requirements for this safety award, including highly-rated headlights and passenger-side protection. The IIHS is cracking down on which vehicles to include on the list, helping consumers limit their options for the safest vehicles even more. The following are five of the vehicles that received the highest grades from the IIHS.
#1. Subaru Impreza
One of the vehicles that made a perfect score and got into the elite top 15 was the Subaru Impreza, receiving the highest possible marks across all categories, considered the safest with superior front crash prevention and a Good+ score for child seat anchor ease of use. Both the sedan and the wagon versions of this vehicle made the same high scores. Subaru vehicles made the IIHS list multiple times in 2018.
#2. Subaru Legacy
Another Subaru with perfect marks according to the IIHS is the 2018 Legacy, with the highest score in all categories. It comes with side airbags, seat cushion airbags (to prevent occupants from sliding under safety belts), electronic stability control, rollover sensor, antilock brakes, and daytime running lights. Subaru came in with high safety ratings all around – the Subaru Outback also received “Good” across all safety categories.
#3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
If you have the budget to purchase a 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class with the $6,600 Premium 2 package added on, you’ll have one of the safest midsize vehicles on the market – not to mention a comfortable luxury car. It earned a Superior IIHS rating for crash avoidance and mitigation, with top marks in all other categories as well. Special safety features include driver knee airbags, rear seat-mounted torso airbags, and auto-adjusting head restraints.
#4. Lincoln Continental
This luxury car makes the cut in the IIHS top 15, but only if shoppers are willing to pay extra to add the Technology package ($4,215) and the Luxury package ($3,995). These packages add important safety features such as automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and LED headlights. While the completed vehicle will cost almost $64,000, you’d get a vehicle with a perfect IIHS Top Safety Pick+ score, other than an “Acceptable” in child seat anchor ease of use.
#5. Kia Forte
The 2018 Kia Forte made the list as a small car in the Top Safety Pick+ category, with the top score (“Good”) in all but two categories: passenger-side crashworthiness and child seat anchors ease of use. These two categories both received the second-highest score of “Acceptable.” The Kia Forte has safety features such as side airbags, seat-mounted torso airbags, rollover sensor, electronic stability control, antilock brakes, and optional daytime running lights. If you’re looking for a smaller vehicle that’s still incredibly safe, the 2018 Kia Forte is a wise choice.