Safety is one of the most important things when it comes to that final decision on the car lot, especially with cars getting more powerful and faster with every year that passes. Even family sedans have models that come with 300 plus horsepower now, but safety is still a top priority, especially since roadway incident rates keep climbing.
We are going to be looking at 15 of the safest models out there on the market in 2018, and we will also look at the 10 least safe cars out there on the road today. Some models will overlap, meaning the companies noticed the poor safety ratings from their previous year models and decided to join the safety crew. Some of the models may be a bit of a surprise, while others you can tell are safe or unsafe just by looking at them.
Power is not the only thing that comes into play when it comes to safety. The frame and airbag systems are two of the biggest safety points when it comes to cars, which is pretty obvious since those are two of the points they love to talk about when it comes to safety. A little less power never made anything unsafe, unless you are talking about cars that have such little power that merging becomes a potentially perilous game.
So we have done the hard part of researching all of the safest and least safe cars on the roads today if you are looking for a safe car we have you covered.
25 Safe - 2018 Toyota Camry
Toyota has long been known for their safety when it comes to their family sedans, and one of the top options offered by Toyota is the Camry. It starts with a price tag of $23,495 but there are submodel options with higher prices and more power, they all come up aces when it comes to safety.
The Camry is an IIHS Top Safety Pick of 2018 and managed to score five stars in every single crash test they threw at it, making it one of the safest cars on the market today.
24 Safe - 2018 Honda Accord
The Honda Accord is one of the most popular family sedans out there today, and also one of the most sold coupe models. The coupe, however, does not have the same safety standards that the sedan does. It starts at $23,570 for the base model and goes up from there depending on what sub model you choose.
The Accord earned five stars on every single test they threw at it, including the crash tests, which would be more of throwing the car at the test. It is also on the list of the IIHS Top Safety Picks of 2018, which is no surprise.
23 Safe - 2018 Honda Civic
Honda has made safety their mission with most of their 2018 models, even the Civic. The base model has a price tag of $18,840, making it one of the cheapest models on our list today, but do not worry, it still meets all safety standards we have come to expect in 2018.
There are other submodels like the Type R which has just about too much power for its own good, but it still comes up par with the IIHS Top Safety Picks of 2018 and an all-around five-star safety rating.
22 Safe - 2018 Kia Cadenza
Kia is one of those brands that you may expect safety from, but that hasn't always been the case. Sure, every company has those flops, but Kia sure made up for it in 2018 with the Cadenza.
It has a starting price of $32,290, which is a bit pricey compared to other Kia models, but it sure looks better than anything else they have come to market with, and it is also their safest model to date. While it hasn't been crash tested, it still scored five stars across the board according to IIHS Top Safety Picks.
21 Safe - 2018 Buick LaCrosse
Buick has a reputation for larger cars, and usually bigger cars have more safety features and the LaCrosse is no exception. It does have optional front end collision prevention which of course comes at a higher price, the base model sells for $29,565.
It scored five stars on all of the IIHS tests and is one of their Top Safety Picks for 2018. There are models with park assist and other high-end safety features, but all models come with a backup camera and parking sensors. The only downfall is the headlights, which scored poorly in the safety ratings, but those can be changed with aftermarket parts of course.
20 Safe - 2018 Nissan Maxima
The Maxima is the height of luxury and safety when it comes to Nissan models, and it sure looks good while it does its thing. The Maxima crushed every single test that IIHS threw at it, including the crash test. It has a starting price of $33,270, which may be bit pricey but for the safety, style, and power that the Maxima offers it sure does not seem that bad.
It received five stars across the board and is among the safest cars on the road in 2018. Higher end models come with even more safety features including even a drowsiness monitor to help you stay awake on those long trips.
19 Safe - 2018 Chevrolet Bolt
Chevrolet is known primarily for their trucks and family vehicles, and also has a claim to fame with the infamous Camaro. But the all-new Chevy Bolt is their newest talking point. It starts at $36,620 for the base model and managed to score well in all of the IIHS tests -it also has a superior rating for its unique front end collision prevention technology and low-end speed assisted braking.
The Bolt may be new to the market, but it is sure making waves with its advanced safety features that are included in all submodels.
18 Safe - 2018 Hyundai Ioniq
Hyundai is known for luxury and safety, especially in their larger vehicles like the Genesis sedan and the newest Ioniq. It has a starting price of $22,200, which is a pretty reasonable price for a Hyundai. It is a hybrid vehicle, which usually includes extra safety features.
It is lower on the Top Safety Picks list for 2018 due to limited testing and the merely acceptable rating on the headlights, but it still manages to make it onto the list even with the limited testing. The Ioniq comes with safety features we would expect in 2018 such as back up camera and Lane Keep Assist.
17 Safe - 2018 Mazda CX-9
Mazda may be all over the place with the safety ratings for their cars, but the CX-9 is a whole new ball game. It has a starting price of $32,130, making it one of the most expensive models on our list today.
It earned good ratings in all of the crash tests thrown at it, but it does fall short with its headlights. But it makes up for it with all of the other safety technology under that hood, such as the obvious rearview camera. It also comes with blind spot monitoring and assisted low-speed braking.
16 Safe - 2018 Chevrolet Volt
Chevy is back at it with the safest cars on the road, such as the Volt. The Volt earned five stars across the board when it came to the crash tests. It comes with a ton of safety features such as teen driver, which is where you can limit the top speed of the vehicle, that makes it an ideal first car.
It also comes of course with a rearview camera and parking assist. The Volt has plenty of submodels with more safety features, but the base model starts at $33,220 and goes up from there.
15 Safe - 2018 Subaru WRX
The WRX was the claim to fame for Subaru for the longest time, and it is still one of the most iconic tuner cars, or at least it used to be. They have completely revamped the WRX making it into more of a family sedan, but do not worry, there is still an STI option.
The WRX scored aces across the board and earned a spot in the IIHS Top Safety Picks Plus, meaning it is one of the absolute safest cars out there today. It has a base price of $26,995.
14 Safe - 2018 Kia Optima
The Kia Optima hasn't always been the safest car on the road, but the new and improved 2018 Optima is setting out to change that. It scored a good rating in the crash tests and earned a spot on the IIHS Top Safety Picks plus list, making it one of the safest of the safe cars out there today.
It has a starting price of $22,600 and comes with tons of safety features such as a backup camera and an autonomous emergency braking system. It is one of the safest cars on the market, especially for the price.
13 Safe - 2018 Mini Cooper Countryman
The first thing someone would typically think of when they hear the name Mini Cooper is probably not safety. But the new 2018 Countryman is among the safest cars on the market in 2018. It received good ratings in the crash tests as well as in all other categories. Again, the headlights fell short and cause a lower overall rating.
It has a starting price of only $26,600, and it comes with a backup camera as well as parking sensors, but any of the other upgraded safety features are only available in the higher end submodels.
12 Safe - 2018 Toyota Prius Prime
The Prius continues to be one of the safest vehicles on the market ever since they came out, and the new 2018 Prius Prime is the next step up. It earned good ratings in all of the crash tests and the only thing that stopped it from getting on the IIHS Top Safety Picks plus list was the headlights, but again, that can be fixed with aftermarket parts.
It has a starting price of $27,100 and of course, comes with all the expected safety features like the backup camera and lane assist.
11 Safe - 2018 Volkswagen Passat
The Passat is known for its safety features, as a lot of manufactured cars from Germany are. It earned a five-star rating on the crash tests and comes with an Intelligent Crash Response System which starts up during any kind of crash.
The hazard lights are activated automatically, and the fuel pump system is shut off. The doors also automatically unlock for optimal safety. The Passat comes with all the normal safety features such as a backup camera and has plenty more optional features. It has a starting price of $22,995.
10 Avoid - Kia Rio (2009-2012)
The Kia Rio is among the most unsafe vehicles on the road, but they have worked to improve this over the years. The models from 2009-2012, which can still be found in droves on the roads today. The IIHS compiled all of the fatal incidents associated with the Kia Rio and the numbers are a little scary.
The Rio was involved in 149 incidents where the safety features were not up to par. They are working on it and there are new Kia models that have even made their way onto the list of the safest cars on the road.
9 Avoid - Nissan Versa
The Nissan Versa is one of the lower end Nissan models and is a little cheaper than most other models but it does come with fewer safety features. The IIHS compiled all of the fatal incidents where the Nissan Versa was involved and the numbers are staggering with a total of 201 incidents between the sedan model and the hatchback model.
While it is a more affordable model, it may not be worth the risk considering those statistics. It does not stack up against the newer models such as the Maxima and Sentra.
8 Avoid - Hyundai Accent
The Hyundai Accent is about the lowest end model of Hyundai that is available and is focused more on being an affordable family car than meeting the luxury standards of other models. It also does not meet the safety standards of the other models, with an IIHS reported 206 fatal incidents involving the Accent.
This is a combined statistic between the four-door and the coupe version, which has slightly fewer incidents than the sedan. The Accent falls into one of the least safe cars on the road in 2018 with those stats.
7 Avoid - Chevrolet Aveo
The Chevrolet Aveo is available in a hatchback version and a standard sedan, both are just about as perilous as the other. The IIHS reported a total of 157 fatal incidents between both models, and you could guess just from looking at it that it is probably not one of the safest vehicles out there.
However, the newer models do come with a sleek design and a pretty reasonable price tag, especially when you consider the lack of apparent safety features.
6 Avoid - Chevrolet Camaro
It is probably no shock to see the Chevy Camaro on the list of most unsafe cars out there, considering it is a pretty powerful modern muscle car. With more power, you, of course, get a little bit less safety. The Camaro has been involved in 80 fatal incidents, which is not as bad as some of the others on our list today, but any incidents like that is too many of course.
The Camaro does come with a lot of safety features which means most of the incidents were probably caused because of the power, which makes it easier for the vehicle to get out of control.
5 Avoid - Chevrolet Silverado
We just keep seeing the name Chevrolet pop up on here, which may point to some work that needs to be done on these safety features. The Silverado has been involved in 79 fatal incidents, despite plenty of safety precautions.
It is a larger truck which can sometimes cause issues with control, and there are higher end models with a good bit of power as well. The Silverado may be one of the most popular trucks on the market, but buyer beware.
4 Avoid - Honda Civic Coupe
The newest 2018 model of the Honda Civic actually earned a spot on the IIHS Top Safety Picks list, but some of the previous year models did not hold up, especially the coupe model. The IIHS reported 76 fatal roadway incidents involving the Honda Civic coupe, making it one of the most unsafe cars on the road.
The newest model, however, appears to have fixed all of these issues as it earned its stripes with the safety board, and it even looks a little sleeker while being safer.
3 Avoid - Ford Focus
Ford is well known for family sedans and SUVs, and the Focus is one of the more low-end models of the sedans they offer. It does come with plenty of safety features but falls a bit flat when we look at the IIHS reports. They reported that there were 70 fatal incidents involving the Focus, but they have hopefully been working to get that number down as close to zero as possible.
Knowing Ford, they are probably not happy with those numbers either considering safety is a big selling point in their ads.
2 Avoid - Nissan Cube
Just looking at the Nissan Cube, a couple things come to mind, and not one of them is safety. The Nissan Cube is just that, a cube on wheels, which does not even sound remotely safe.
The IIHS reported 66 fatal incidents with the Nissan Cube involved, but the good news is that Nissan has stepped their game up with the newest models out there such as the Maxima which is one of the top safety picks out there today.
1 Avoid - Chevrolet HHR
The HHR does not look like one of the safest cars out there, and that is because statistically speaking it is not. The HHR is a hatchback model, one of the few that Chevy offers, and hatchbacks have a history of not being too safe.
The IIHS reported 61 fatal incidents where the HHR was involved, making it the safest of the unsafe cars, but still does not meet the standards of today. The HHR has been mostly abandoned in order to put out more safe models.
Sources - cars.usnews, cbsnews, & m.iihs.org