The Safest Cars on the Road in 2021
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety selects the safest of the safest vehicles for 2021.
- 50 vehicles awarded the Top Safety Pick+ endorsement
- More awards handed out this year than in years past
- Winners range from small cars and SUVs to minivans and a pickup truck
There’s a lot to consider when buying a new vehicle: reliability, fuel efficiency, your budget, and auto insurance rates, to name just a few. For many drivers, however, the safety rating is what makes or breaks the car buying decision. In the face of a collision (or avoiding one), some vehicles are safer than others. Every year, the U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recognizes the vehicles that perform best in a bad situation.
“With these awards, we want to make it easy for consumers to find vehicles that provide good protection in crashes, sufficient lighting and effective front crash protection,” IIHS President David Harkey says in a press release. “Manufacturers have stepped up to meet the challenge, and the list of great options has grown to an impressive size this year.”
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The IIHS awards have two tiers. There’s the Top Safety Pick+ and the Top Safety Pick (minus the ‘plus’). Regardless of tier, vehicles must garner ‘good’ ratings in all six IIHS crashworthiness tests to be selected. The winners must also be available with front crash prevention that earns a superior or advanced rating in tests to avoid a collision with another vehicle or with a pedestrian.
Headlights are the final consideration, and winners must be available with headlights deemed good or acceptable by the IIHS. The ‘plus’ designation is given to models that have good or acceptable headlights across all trim levels and packages – it's not an optional add-on; these headlights come standard with the vehicle.
Let’s start first with the 25 cars with the plus and 18 cars minus the plus.
IIHS 2021 Top Safety Pick+ Winners: Small, Midsize, and Large Cars
|Small cars||Midsize cars||Midsize luxury cars||Large luxury cars|
|Honda Insight||Honda Accord||Acura TLX||Audi A6|
|Mazda 3 hatchback||Kia 5||Lexus ES 350||Audi A6 Allroad|
|Mazda 3||Mazda 6||Lexus IS||Audi A7|
|Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid||Nissan Altima||Tesla Model 3||Genesis G70|
|Nissan Maxima||Volvo S60||Genesis G90|
|Subaru Legacy||Volvo S60 Recharge|
|Subaru Outback||Volvo V60|
|Toyota Camry||Volvo V60 Recharge|
IIHS 2021 Top Safety Pick Winners: Small, Midsize, and Large Cars
|Small cars||Midsize cars||Midsize luxury cars||Large cars|
|Honda Civic hatchback||Hyundai Sonata||Audi A4||Kia Stinger|
|Honda Civic||Audi A5 Sportback|
|Hyundai Veloster||BMW 3 series|
|Kia Forte||Mercedes-Benz C-Class|
|Subaru Impreza wagon|
|Toyota Corolla hatchback|
IIHS 2021 Top Safety Pick+ Winners: Small, Midsize, and Large SUVs and Minivans
|Small SUVs||Midsize SUVs||Midsize luxury SUVs||Large SUVs||Minivans|
|Mazda CX-3||Ford Explorer||Acura RDX||Audi e-tron||Honda Odyssey|
|Mazda CX-30||Hyundai Palisade||Cadillac XT6||Audi e-tron Sportback||Toyota Sienna|
|Mazda CX-5||Mazda CX-9||Genesis GV80|
|Nissan Rogue||Subaru Ascent||Hyundai Nexo|
|Subaru Forester||Toyota Highlander||Lexus NX|
|Volvo XC40||Mercedes-Benz GLE|
|Volvo XC60 Recharge|
|Volvo XC90 Recharge|
IIHS 2021 Top Safety Pick Winners: Small, Midsize, and Large SUVs and One Pickup
|Small SUVs||Midsize SUVs||Midsize luxury SUVs||Large SUVs||Large pickup|
|Chevrolet Equinox||Ford Edge||Lexus RX||Audi Q8||Ram 1500 Crew|
|Ford Escape||Kia Sorento||Lincoln Aviator|
|Honda CR-V||Kia Telluride||Mercedes-Benz GLC|
|Hyundai Kona||Volkswagen Tiguan|
|Toyota RAV4 Prime|
Safety plus savings: Compare insurance quotes for the vehicle that offers you both
Safety and savings can go hand-in-hand. If you’re in the market to buy one of the IIHS’s safest vehicles, compare auto insurance quotes first. The cost of coverage can vary significantly, and with the right provider, you can have a vehicle that is not only safe on the road but doesn't cost a lot to insure either.