Recommended cars for safety will have passed several tests and been highly rated in different categories from the four main tests. The safer the car is the less damage or injury a passenger will receive. The main ratings for safety include rollover, rear crash protection, frontal offset crash test, head restraints, side crash tests, bumper evaluation and electronic stability control.
- Audi A6 - $45,000 - $59,000: This is a midsize sedan with excellent safety ratings. It ranked good on all impact rating tests. All of the injury measurements taken from the dummy involved in the tests showed that there was a low injury risk. This car has electronic stability control, programmable daytime running lights, antilock brakes and additional side airbags.
- Mercury Sable $25,000 - $31,000: The Mercury Sable was designed to replace the Montego. It has signature elements from the other Mercury vehicles. It received five stars on the NHTSA front crash test, 4 stars on the rollover test and five stars on the side crash tests. Some additional safety features found on the car include side airbags, rear head curtain airbags, front seat torso airbag, antilock brakes, electronic stability control, rollover sensor and daytime running lights
- Honda Accord $21,000 - $31,000: This car was completely overhauled in 2008 and is the largest of the Accord models ever offered. It received five stars in all of the NGTSA tests and a ranking of good on all the injury tests from the IIHS. This model has become safer in its redesign. Previously the models from 1994-2002 were only awarded acceptable rankings. Since 2003 this car has received some of the highest safety ratings.
- Subaru Impreza $17,500 - $27,500: The Subaru Impreza is the safest compact car. It comes as a four door sedan and five door hatchback with all wheel drive. Both the sedan and hatchback models were tested and received the same high marks with five stars for the NHTSA Frontal crash test and side crash tests. It received four stars for the rollover test. This is the most injury protection you can get from a car. The car has all side airbags, antilock brakes and electronic stability control.
- Volvo C70 $40,000: This coupe convertible was released at the end of 2010. It has many options and packages to choose from as the design is only slightly changed from the previous model. The metal folding top is power operated and the car has good handling. It received top rankings on safety tests. In particular the changes to the driver's space were very minimal when in a crash and only minimal injury was found. Unique to most Volvo cars is the rollover protection system as there are pop up bars behind the rear seat. The side curtain airbags are also released when a rollover occurs.
- Hyundai Santa Fe $21,000 -$30,000: This is a midsize SUV with excellent safety ratings. It was designed specifically for North America. The 2010 model received top marks on all safety tests as passengers and the driver would only sustain very minor injuries. This SUV has roll stability control, electronic stability control, three rows of airbags and antilock brakes.
Related Questions and Answers
Who Should you Listen to the Most for New Car Safety Ratings?
There are several groups to listen to for new car safety ratings. The first independent group is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). IIHS conducts a series of rigorous tests that include angles that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) doesn't consider. Those IIHS angles consider the accident damage that occurs in oblique angle accidents, as well as in fixed barrier accidents. They are now considering the strength of the roof in their accident testing. NHTSA conducts general instrumented tests that give you an overall look at the structural integrity of the vehicle. Consumer Reports looks at the overall safety of a vehicle, and at areas such as rollover, and cornering integrity that others do not consider.
How Do Used Car Safety Ratings Vary from New Car Ratings?
There's quite a wide gap between used car safety ratings and new car ratings. Used car safety ratings offer a longer history on a particular automotive product. You can see the entire line of Honda Accords, for example, that were designed during 2002 to 2007, and how each year's changes affected the car's safety. A new car safety rating identifies what's new today and what may be new tomorrow. However, there's no history to them. They may make a new car look like the safest car on the road since the M1A1 Abrams Tank. Though, after a couple of years, they may show quite a different story. There's no history to them.