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Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis

Best Safe Car To Buy



These awards identify the best vehicle choices for safety within size categories during a given year. Larger, heavier vehicles generally afford more protection than smaller, lighter ones. Thus, a small car that qualifies for an award might not protect its occupants as well as a bigger vehicle that doesn't earn the award.




best safe car to buy



The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries and property damage from motor vehicle crashes through research and evaluation and through education of consumers, policymakers and safety professionals.


If you choose a car on this list, you can be assured you will likely survive a crash, but in many cases avoid it altogether. We pulled together a collection of the best 2022 models made the safest for you to drive and what earns them that distinction.


What we looked for were cars with perfect scores in both IIHS and NHTSA testing. With those in hand, we narrowed the field among the trim levels within each model based on standard and available active safety features such as forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.


What we did look at in determining the safest trim levels within models are active safety features that are not mandated by the government. This is where features like forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, automatic braking, and lane-keeping assist come in.


The IIHS performs a series of six crash/safety tests. The areas covered are a driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint.


Only models getting the highest marks in both the crash tests and the other evaluations earn the IIHS highest safety awards of Top Safety Pick (TSP) and Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+). Every model on our list has the IIHS TSP+ safety rating.


The smallest entry in the Genesis stable, the G70 sedan matches a fun-to-drive attitude with a healthy helping of safety. The entry-level 2.0T RWD Standard comes with 10 airbags, LED exterior lights (auto on-off headlights, taillights, and DRLs). High-beam assist, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror are standard as well. Also included are forward collision warning with left-turning assist and automatic emergency braking, and lane-following assist. Lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, safe exit assist, adaptive cruise control, and driver-attention warning are also standard. Through the options list, you can add front and rear park assist and rain-sensing wipers in a package loaded with other goodies like leather seating for $4,000.


This midsize luxury sedan shines for its value and advanced safety technologies. In its entry-level 2.5T trim, the Genesis G80 rolls right out of the box with nine airbags and LED exterior lights (headlights with auto on-off, DRLs, and taillights). Also included are rain-sensing wipers, high-beam assist, and adaptive cruise control. The bundle of driver aids adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and lane-following assist. Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking is also included.


Genesis builds a full-size luxury sedan, the G90, which provides a real value within its segment. Luxurious inside and out, the Genesis G90 costs thousands less than European rivals yet it offers a boatload of safety features. The entry-level 3.3T Premium in this 2-model lineup comes loaded with 10 airbags, rain-sensing wipers, and LED exterior lights (headlights with auto on-off, DRLs, and taillights). High-beam assist, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display are also included.


No discussion of midsize cars is complete without at least mentioning the Honda Accord. Rock-solid with a reputation for high resale values and safety, the Accord had to be on this list. Its base LX ($26,520) trim level comes with eight airbags, hill-start assist, and a rear-seat reminder. LED exterior lights (DRLs, taillights, and low-beam LED headlights with auto on-off) are also included. Advanced safety features are lane-departure warning with steering assist and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, high-beam assist, and traffic-sign recognition are also standard.


You can add an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a HomeLink transceiver for an extra $350. Stepping up to the GT2 ($51,490) not only gains you the twin-turbo V6 but a few additional safety features. They include upgraded projection LED headlights, adaptive headlights that bend as the front wheels turn, and a surround-view camera. A head-up display is standard, as well. We recommend sticking with the GT-Line and maybe picking up the auto-dimming rearview mirror.


The Lexus IS rolls in the company of the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. However, Lexus managed to juggle performance and uber safety in this small performance sedan. Standard safety features in the base 300 ($40,200) include 10 airbags, an auto-dimming driver-side outboard rearview mirror, and LED exterior lights (tail lights, auto on-off headlights, and DRLs). Also included are lane-departure warning with steering assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Left-turn assist with automatic braking, lane-tracing assist, high-beam assist, and adaptive cruise control are standard, as well.


A cross between a family hauler and a sportster, the Nissan Maxima racks up high safety marks from IIHS and NHTSA. In its entry-level SV ($37,840) trim, it provides 10 airbags, LED exterior lights (auto on-off headlights, taillights, and DRLs) and high-beam assist. Also standard are an auto-dimming rearview mirror, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning. Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, traffic-sign recognition, rear automatic braking, and driver-alert warning are also included.


You must pony up the extra $1,600 for the automatic transmission to also gain the EyeSight Driver Assist bundle of safety features and high-beam assist. EyeSight includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-centering, and lane-departure warning.


Stepping up to the Limited ($30,495), you add adaptive LED headlights, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Here again, you must opt for the automatic transmission ($1,800) to add high-beam assist and the EyeSight bundle. We think the adaptive headlights and advanced safety features make the Limited with the automatic transmission the way to go.


The fully electric Tesla Model 3 is as safe as it is quiet. Anchoring the model lineup is the Standard Range Plus. It comes with eight airbags, rain-sensing wipers, LED exterior lights (auto on-off headlights, taillights, and DRLs), and front-rear park assist. Also included are blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Rounding out the advanced driver aids are adaptive cruise control and high-beam assist.


You can stick with the base LE, adding the Blind Spot Monitor with options, a $1,280 package that includes blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and more. That is your best safety value.


Doing equally well in IIHS and NHTSA testing, the Toyota Corolla sedan and hatchback qualify for this list. Corolla remains the best-selling nameplate in history and for good reason: value. For its price, the base L grade provides a remarkable number of our recommended safety features. Among them are LED exterior lights (auto on-off headlights, taillights, and DRLs) 10 airbags, and Safety Sense 2.0. It includes high-beam assist, adaptive cruise control, and traffic-sign assist. Forward collision warning with low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with steering assist, and lane-tracing assist are also part of the standard safety package. As is lane-keeping assist.


The LE offers blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert as a feature in its $1,150 LE Convenience Package. That safety option becomes standard beginning with XLE, which also adds upgraded LED headlights. XLE gains adaptive headlights on its options list. However, we would go with the LE plus the Convenience Package.


The Volvo S60 is a mild hybrid (MHEV) while the S60 Recharge is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). Even in its entry-level Momentum grade, the S60 is loaded with features from our safety list. Eight airbags, LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, all three rearview mirrors are auto dimming, and high-beam assist are standard. The Momentum also comes with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, rear-park assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.


These Volvos come standard with advanced safety tech including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist with steering, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers, and Pilot Assist that helps the driver accelerate, steer, and brake the car are standard, as well. A $1,900 Advanced Package gains several features including a head-up display and surround-view camera. Our recommendation is the Momentum trim with the Advanced Package.


Determining which Volvo V60 trim is the safest is easy because there is only one trim level. Likewise, for the V60 Recharge. The V60 sources its thrust from a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The V60 Recharge ($69,090) is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). Both have the same safety ratings. Standard fare helping the V60 make this list includes seven airbags, adaptive LED headlights, and LED fog lights with bending. Other key features are auto-dimming mirrors (inside rearview and outboard), hill-descent control, and high-beam assist.


There are several discounts your provider may offer to reduce that insurance burden. Progressive, for example, offers up to a 10% discount to students with a Grade B average or better. Some companies also discount if your teen driver takes a driving safety course. Ask your insurance agent. 041b061a72


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