The Safest Cars on the Road

By Lesley Green
Happy black and white dog safely secured in back seat of car.

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 paramount in the car buying decision. In the face of a collision, some vehicles are simply safer than others, and every year, the U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recognizes the vehicles that perform best in a bad situation.

Top Safety Pick+ 2018-2019 Edition

IIHS tests evaluate two facets of safety: crashworthiness and crash avoidance and mitigation. When testing crashworthiness, IIHS examines how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash. When testing avoidance and mitigation, they’re looking for vehicles that are (or can be) equipped with technology, like front crash prevention or lane departure warnings, that can prevent a collision or lessen the severity of a crash.

Following the tests, the best of the best are awarded IIHS’s Top Safety Pick+ rating. These vehicles have earned good ratings in five crashworthiness tests, are recognized for protecting passengers, received an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention, and a good headlight rating.

The following 2018 or 2019 model year vehicles have so far been recognized with a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS:

  • Minicars: 2018 Kia Rio
  • Small cars: 2019 Honda Insight, 2018 Hyundai Elantra, 2018 Kia Forte, 2018 Kia Niro hybrid, 2018 Kia Soul, 2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2018 Subaru Impreza 4-door sedan/wagon, 2018 Subaru WRX
  • Midsize cars 2018 Hyundai Sonata, 2018-19 Kia Optima, 2018 Subaru Legacy, 2018 Subaru Outback, 2018 Toyota Camry
  • Large cars 2019 Toyota Avalon
  • Large luxury cars 2018 BMW 5 series, 2018 Genesis G80, 2018 Genesis G90, 2018 Lexus RC, 2018 Lincoln Continental, 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  • Small SUVs 2018 Hyundai Kona, 2018 Mazda CX-5
  • Midsize SUVs 2019 Honda Pilot, 2018-19 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, 2019 Kia Sorento, 2019 Subaru Ascent
  • Midsize luxury SUVs 2019 Acura RDX, 2018 BMW X3, 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC, 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

Safety plus savings: Compare quotes to find the vehicle that offers you both

If you’re in the market to buy one of the safest vehicles as picked by the IIHS, compare quotes to see which will save you the most in auto insurance. 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. Compare quotes today from our network of over 30 insurance providers to find the best price.

List updated regularly as IIHS releases testing results.