The safety standards seem to keep going up in the automobile industry. And even as they do so, most vehicles continue to perform well on the safety front, with the number of vehicles being awarded the TSP (Top Safety Pick) or TSP+ (Top Safety Pick+) designations steadily rising from the past few years.
And this is despite the fact that the standards are being raised every year, which only make it more difficult for the vehicles to make it to IIHS’ lists.
However, there are still some clear winners over others when it comes to the overall safety. So in this article, we will be talking about the 10 safest cars on the market, coming from different segments.
#1 2017 Hyundai Elantra
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra isn’t all about class and style. It’s also the first small car to be given the TSP+ safety rating by the IIHS (or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). The TSP stands for Top Safety Pick, and the TSP+ rating is the best a vehicle can get in terms of safety.
That said, if you’re looking for the safest small car out there, the 2017 Elantra is probably one of the best options you can go for. It comes with many great safety features, with the optional front crash prevention being the latest addition – which is only available in the newest, 2017 version of the popular small car.
It managed to get the best scores in all the 5 safety areas, though it always struggled to do so on the small overlap front for the past several years. Other impressive safety features include pedestrian detection and emergency auto-brake.
Finally, however, unlike some other cars coming with a great level of safety, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra doesn’t compromises on other important features. It boasts a stylish, extremely well-designed interior, a quiet, comfortable cabin, as well as some great technology features.
#2 2017 Audi A4
The latest version of the Audi A4 is one of the strongest contenders for the title of the safest luxury car on the market. The same couldn’t be said about its previous edition, though, as it always performed poorly on the small overlap front. However, the 2017 version of the popular midsize luxury vehicle does well to get a good rating on that front as well.
Furthermore, it also comes with a superior front crash prevention – something that not many other cars in the segment can boast of. Another area worthy of your attention is the ease of use of the child seat anchors, which is again something the 2017 A4 doesn’t disappoint at.
Although the 2017 Audi A4 is far from an affordable vehicle, the rather rare combination of luxury and top level safety makes it well worth the price. Apart from the safety features, you also get a lot in terms of technology.
#3 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe
SUVs were far from being one of the safest vehicles a decade back or so. However, things have changed significantly for them over the past few years, as manufacturers worked hard on the safety aspect to come up with safety features that used to be a rarity in SUVs.
That being said, some SUVs managed to do better than the rest, with the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe emerging as one of the safest SUVs on the market. It’s one of the few SUVs to get the TSP+ safety rating from IIHS.
The latest edition of the vehicle comes with some massive safety improvements, such as a considerably better small front overlap and a superior front crash prevention, which didn’t exist in any of the previous editions. It also scored great in every crash test, including the ones that most other SUVs struggle with.
The headlight safety was another area where the 2017 Santa Fe showed some impressive improvement. Finally, there are also quite a few other important safety features such as rollover sensor, side airbags, electronic stability control and more, which are beyond impressive for an SUV.
#4 2017 Ford Fusion
The Ford Fusion has a history of focusing on its safety aspect more than most of its competitors. This is probably primarily the reason it’s believed to be one of the safest cars for teens – including even many of the earlier editions of the midsize car though they aren’t as safe as the latest one.
The latest edition, however, takes the safety to a whole new level. And this is exactly why it manages to fetch the TSP rating from IIHS. All of its earlier editions only managed to score average on IIHS’ safety tests, though they still did better than many of their competitors at that time.
The 2017 edition comes with a superior front crash prevention system, while the 2016 and earlier editions only had the basic one. It also managed to score considerably better rating on the small front overlap.
The headlight safety, however, continues to be an issue, and it was rated as “poor” by the IIHS. The ease of use of the child seat anchors, too, was unimpressive.
That said, the 2017 Ford Fusion is still one of the safest cars overall, thanks to a wide range of safety features and now a superior front crash prevention system.
#5 2017 Kia Sportage
Small SUVs certainly seem to be having a huge upper hand over their larger counterparts as far as safety is concerned. There seem to be quite a few of them that boast a TSP or TSP+ rating, which is fairly impressive for SUVs of any kind.
When it comes to the 2017 Kia Sportage, however, it certainly seems to be one of the most popular picks in the small SUV segment – thanks to both its impressive safety features as well as a 10-year warranty. The stylish small SUV managed to get top scores in all five of IIHS’ safety tests, besides the front crash prevention being rated as “superior”.
Like some other vehicles on this list, however, the headlight safety is a bit of an issue with the 2017 Sportage as well, as it was given the poor rating for it. However, overall, it gets a TSP rating from the IIHS, meaning that it’s still one of the safest cars out there, especially in the small SUV segment.
#6 2017 Audi Q7
The reason you’re seeing the 2017 Audi Q7 on this list is that it’s the only large SUV out there to get the TSP rating from IIHS. Yes, safety is a pretty serious concern with many large SUVs, which is clear from the fact that there are no other large SUVs getting the TSP rating from IIHS, let alone a TSP+.
So if you’re looking for a large SUV and safety is paramount for you, the 2017 Q7 is likely your best bet. Unlike pretty much all of its counterparts, it manages to come out with top scores in all the five crash tests. The front crash prevention system leaves absolutely nothing to be desired as well, as it gets the “superior” rating from the IIHS.
What’s more, however, is that it also manages to get a “G+” rating for its ease of use of the child seat anchors – as it comes with extra latch positions – which is an achievement not many cars can boast of, including many on this list.
The headlight safety, too, turns out to be surprising good for its size. So, it can be safely concluded that the 2017 Audi Q7 is not all about style, but it also arguably the safest large SUV on the market.
#7 2017 Toyota Highlander
This beast needs no introduction. It’s one of the most popular SUVs out there, dominating the US roads since quite a few years now. However, while its interior, style, design, fuel economy and amazing ride quality are something most are aware of, what many don’t know is that it’s also one of the safest cars out there in the midsize SUV segment.
It comes with many high-tech safety features, which apparently make it second to none in its segment on the safety front. As far as IIHS’ ratings are concerned, it gets the very best TSP+ – scoring top scores in all five safety tests. The superior front crash prevention system, a great level of ease of use of child safety anchors and fairly impressive headlight safety are some of the other safety features that are worthy of your attention.
However, these are just some of the major safety features the 2017 Highlander comes with. Its actual list of all safety features is pretty long, and includes features like antilock brakes, daylight running lights, driver knee airbag, side airbags, rollover sensor, electronic stability control and the list goes on.
Finally, the 2017 Toyota Highlander is probably a rare example of the combination of power and safety. This is because besides all the safety features we discussed, it also comes with a lot of power, thanks to its strong V6 engine.
#8 2017 Acura MDX
We are yet to talk about the safest car in the midsize luxury SUV segment, so here’s the 2017 Acura MDX – one of the safest cars in the said segment. In fact, if the IIHS’ ratings and analysis is anything to go by, the 2017 MDX is actually the safest midsize luxury SUV on the market.
Its closest competitor on the safety front seems to be a fairly similar luxury SUV from Acura itself – the 2017 Acura RDX. However, with top scores in all five safety departments, as well as in the front crash prevention, the 2017 MDX has an obvious edge.
The headlight safety and ease of use of the child seat anchors – which are some of the other important safety factors – don’t disappoint as well. As a matter of fact, the Acura MDX has always been a consistent top scorer on the safety front, with pretty much all of its earlier editions coming with a great level of safety and a wide range of safety features.
That being said, on the safety front, the 2017 MDX is pretty much unchanged from its 2016 model, though it manages to retain the top safety scores. Some of the crash safety tests performed on the vehicle suggested that the risk of injuries in case of an accident are impressively lower than most other vehicles in the segment.
#9 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
Here’s the first minivan on the list. There are actually just two minivans that the IIHS thinks are safe enough to be on its safety list. And the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the better one of the two, fetching a TSP+ rating, while the other (2017 Kia Sedona) being given the TSP rating.
To be honest, we weren’t exactly surprised to see just two minivans on the list – safety doesn’t seem to be one of the strongest aspects of minivans anyway. However, the 2017 Pacifica absolutely blows us away with its performance in pretty much all the safety departments, ranging from the small overlap front to the front crash prevention to even the headlight safety.
The ease of use of the child seat anchors does seem to be leaving a bit to be desired, but it probably wouldn’t be fair to expect it to bring more to the table in terms of safety than it already does, especially as a minivan.
Another impressive thing about the 2017 Pacifica is its amazing practicality, which is a very difficult feat to achieve while offering so much in terms of safety.
#10 2017 Honda Ridgeline
Just like minivans, a great level of safety is something you wouldn’t expect even in large pickups. That being said, the 2017 Honda Ridgeline manages to stand out with its amazing safety features – being the only one to do so.
It’s the only large pickup on IIHS’ safety list, but it gets the best safety rating from it: the TSP+. Needless to mention, it comes out as a winner in all of IIHS’ safety departments, while also offering superior headlight safety and fairly easy to use child seat anchors.