When you are shopping for a best crash test rating sedan, you no longer need to consider an expensive vehicle to find one that will keep you and your family safe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts crash tests of many different vehicles every year. Scored on a star system (five stars being the highest), many auto manufacturers use NHTSA crash test data in their advertising materials.
All of the following sedans come with a full complement of airbags, a laundry list of other standard safety features, and a four or five-star crash test rating in every NHTSA test.
The current style Impala was introduced for the 2006 model year and is much safer than its predecessor. IT now has front, side and curtain, and this protection helps improve the car's safety. It gets five stars for front impact crashes and five stars for side impact.
Perhaps a surprise entry on this list, the Caliber is one of the highest-ranking compact sedans in NHTSA crash tests. It received a five-star rating in all NHTSA crash tests except rollover (where it scored four-stars). Among its standard safety features is Dodge's "Safety Cage," which absorbs much of the force of a car accident in an attempt to protect its passengers from serious injury.
The Ford Fusion comes standard with dual front and side airbags, front and rear curtain airbags, and a driver's knee airbag. Additionally, all Fusions include Ford's AdvanceTrac Electronic Stability Control, which is designed to give the driver more control in hazardous driving conditions such as rain, gravel and ice. For even greater confidence in all road conditions, Ford makes AWD available on certain Fusion models.
The Honda Accord is perennially one of the best selling vehicles in America. As it has grown in popularity, it has also grown in its safety offerings. Every Accord comes standard with dual front, side and curtain airbags, as well as active front head restraints that help reduce whiplash in collisions. Honda also offers its Vehicle Stability Assist stability control system and four-wheel anti-lock brakes as standard equipment. Also worth noting is Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure, which protects occupants by evenly distributing the force of a collision across the vehicle.
Honda's Civic has been one of the best-selling compact cars for many years. Scoring four and five-stars in crash tests, standard safety equipment includes four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), driver and front passenger active head restraints, and what Honda calls an "Advanced Compatibility Engineering" frame, which is designed to protect occupants in the event of a front impact collision.
The Mazda3 has been a popular choice with compact car buyers since its introduction in 2004. Redesigned for model year 2010, it received four and five-star ratings in all NHTSA crash tests. Its safety features include standard ABS, front and rear door beams designed to protect occupants in a side impact collision and a steering wheel that collapses in the event of a car accident.
Every Subaru vehicle sold in America is offered only with an AWD drivetrain. As such, the Legacy is already more capable of handling every road condition than many of its competitors. Like all other manufacturers, Subaru offers a complement of standard airbags in the Legacy. In addition, all Legacys come standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, Vehicle Dynamics Control and traction control systems, and front and passenger active head restraints.
Suzuki is very well known for its motorcycles and ATVs, and many people probably don't realize they also make cars. The SX-4 received four-stars in nearly every NHTSA crash test, and attained a five-star rating for driver protection in a side impact collision. Standard safety features include brake assist (which increases braking pressure in emergency situations) and reinforced door beams for side impact protection.
The Volkswagen Jetta is a reliable family sedan that offers six standard airbags, a great crash test ratings of four stars front for impact crashes, five stars for side impact and German engineering at an affordable price.
The Volkswagen Passat is one of the safest midsize sedans sold in America. It includes as standard equipment six airbags (with two additional airbags as an option), three-point safety belts for all five passengers, and anti-lock brakes on all four wheels. Additionally, all Passats come standard with Volkswagen's Electronic Stabilization Program and Anti-Slip Regulation system.