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The Safest Cars of 2019

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You shouldn’t ever have to worry about your vehicle being safe. In this list, you’ll find the top 2 cars in every category the IIHS deemed the safest cars of 2019.

A car that drives safely from place to place is what we all expect, right? Cars wouldn’t be on the road if they weren’t deemed safe by regulation, but there are a handful of 2019 vehicles that made the cut for superior safety. For families and drivers looking for the safest vehicles, we’ve collected the latest data to bring you the ultimate list of safest cars.

We’re giving you a list of the vehicles in every category that made the IIHS’s 2019 Top Safety Picks list while giving you the details you need to know to keep your family safe on the road.

Ranking the Safest Cars

The IIHS, or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, ranked the safest cars according to certain criteria to ensure that drivers everywhere could have peace of mind when looking for the safest car.

While ranking vehicles for safety, the IIHS took into consideration the following: strong test crash performance, collision avoidance systems, and high-quality headlights. Specifically, the Institute looked at these ratings listed below.

Crash Testing
Crash Testing on Twitter - @IIHS_autosafety
  • Good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.
  • Advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.
  • Good headlight rating.

The ratings are slightly different in each category, so here’s a little rundown of what it all means.

How Cars are Rated for Safety

  1. Good – the best
  2. Acceptable – not as great, but still decent
  3. Marginal — lackluster
  4. Poor – not great, at all

You may also see the words superior, advanced, or basic used to determine how well a collision system is rated. With these ratings in mind, let’s see what cars made the list for the top safest vehicles in every category.

2019 Top Safety Vehicles

Minicars

2019 Kia Rio & 2019 Hyundai Accent

2019 Hyundai Accent
2019 Hyundai Accent on Carsforsale.com

The Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent are rated “good” in 5 out of 6 categories of crashworthiness. These vehicles have superior front crash prevention systems and have the option for “good” headlights depending on the trimline you choose. With “acceptable” child seat anchors, you can expect your children to stay safe in the event of a crash, too. The only difference you’ll find between the two is that an upgraded Accent trimline only has “acceptable” headlight ratings instead of “good” like its competitor, the Rio.

Small Cars

2019 Honda Insight

2019 Honda Insight
2019 Honda Insight on netcarshow.com

The Honda Insight has it all. With “good” and superior ratings throughout its crashworthiness categories, child seat anchors, headlights, and front collision system, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another better small car. The Insight also offers other standard safety features that include daytime running lights, lane departure warnings, and lane departure prevention.

2019 Hyundai Elantra

Though the Honda Insight has it all, the Hyundai Elantra also offers great value. The Elantra safety ratings are “good” in all six crashworthiness categories, but only has “good” ratings for headlights if you choose an upgraded trimline. Child seat locks are “acceptable,” which is to be expected out of a runner-up for safety, which is about the average for the list of safest small cars.

Midsize Cars

2019 Subaru Outback

Subaru’s legacy of safety doesn’t fall short with the Subaru Outback. With “good” ratings in all crashworthiness categories, a superior front collision system, and “good” child seat anchors, you can have peace of mind driving this car. Again, like many other vehicles, headlight ratings are based on trim levels, but the Outback offers headlights ranging from “marginal” to “good.” The Outback’s standard safety features include daytime running lights, lane departure warnings, and prevention.

2019 Toyota Camry

2019 Toyota Camry
2019 Toyota Camry on netcarshow.com

The Toyota Camry is another great midsize car that has “good” and superior ratings throughout its crash testing performance, child safety, and headlights. Like other cars, you can expect a slight decrease in headlight safety rating from trim level to trim level from “good” to “acceptable.” Also standard on the Camry are daytime running lights, lane departure warnings, and prevention. Just like the Subaru Outback.

Large Cars

2019 Toyota Avalon

2019 Toyota Avalon
2019 Toyota Avalon on netcarshow.com

For a near-perfect large car, look no further than the Toyota Avalon. The Avalon’s superior front crash system, “good” overall crash ratings, and the option for high-rating headlights check all the boxes for the safest car. Not only does it have some of the best safety ratings, but it also comes with some safety features that other vehicles deem optional like blind-spot detection.

2019 Kia Stinger

If you’ve never heard of the Kia Stinger, you should add it to your list. The Stinger hits the bullseye for all crashworthy categories and has a wide range of headlight ratings from “good” to “acceptable” to “poor” based on the trim level you buy. The child seat locks are considered “marginal,” so they don’t necessarily take the cake for child safety, but if you don’t have small children this car is still one of the safest large cars on the market.

Small SUVs

Toyota RAV4 & Subaru Forester

2019 Subaru Forester
2019 Subaru Forester on netcarshow.com

The Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester should give you something to rave about. Between the cars’ crash ratings and the ease of securing child seats, these small SUVs give you safety and comfort all in one. You’ll only find “good” headlights on the highest trim level of these two vehicles, but with standard safety features like lane departure warnings and daytime running lights make up for it.

Midsize SUVs

Subaru Ascent

The Ascent much like the Forester is another safety win for Subaru. With high marks in every category, you can expect the Ascent to meet your needs for a family-friendly, safe SUV. It comes with all the bells and whistles you need for front crash prevention like lane departure warnings and daytime running lights. And the child seat lock rating is “good plus” which gives you peace of mind when strapping your kiddos into their seats.

Kia Sorento

2019 Kia Sorento
2019 Kia Sorento on netcarshow.com

Though the Kia Sorento doesn’t quite match up to the Ascent’s safety standards, it still meets the mark for the IIHS to deem it a top safety pick. Based on its crash test performance ratings and its safety rating for child seats, it covers most safety concerns. As for the front crash prevention system, you will have to upgrade to receive any lane departure warnings or daytime running lights.

Large SUVs

Audi Q8

2019 Audi Q8
2019 Audi Q8 on netcarshow.com

The only large SUV to make the top safety pick list was the Audi Q8. This beautiful, sleek car meets high safety standards that its competitors couldn’t match. With overall “good” ratings in crash testing performances, a superior standard front crash prevention system, and easy to use child seat locks, this vehicle fares much better than its competitors in safety. The only thing you may want to upgrade are the headlights as they are only rated “acceptable” at the highest trimline.

Minivans

Honda Odyssey

2019 Honda Odyssey
2019 Honda Odyssey on Carsforsale.com

The safest minivan of 2019 is no doubt the Honda Odyssey. With the highest ratings in crash safety testing, a superior (but optional) front crash prevention system, and highly accessible car seat locks, any driver can feel safe having their child in an Odyssey. Like most other vehicles listed in the IIHS’s Top Safety Picks, the headlight ratings vary from trim line to trim line.

Chrysler Pacifica

The Honda Odyssey has an upper hand on the Chrysler Pacifica in several areas of safety, but it still outdoes most of the minivans in its class. The Pacifica received “good” ratings in 5 out of 6 crash test categories and offers an optional front crash prevention system with a superior rating. Besides those two safety categories, the Pacifica lacks in headlight quality and has a “marginal” rating for child seat locks. It may be a little less safe for small children, but it still meets the criteria for a safe vehicle.

Pickup Trucks

Honda Ridgeline

2019 Honda Ridgeline
2019 Honda Ridgeline on Carsforsale.com

The only truck to meet the Top Safety Pick requirements was the 2019 Honda Ridgeline. This midsize pickup hit 5 out of 6 “good” ratings in crash testing, offers “good” headlights on certain trim lines, and competes with an optional superior crash prevention system. Like most trucks, the accessibility and use of child seat locks aren’t the best, but the Ridgeline’s rating is listed as “acceptable.”

Stay Safe Out There

Staying safe on the road has never been easier.

As you can see, more and more vehicles are offering safety features that prevent crashes and assist you in being the best driver you can be.

What vehicle would you trust from the Top Safety Picks list? Let us know in the comments below!

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Erin Maxson

Erin loves nothing more than a good road trip. To her, getting behind the wheel is one of the biggest adventures you can take because it can lead to anywhere. Alongside her Toyota Tundra, you'll find her co-pilot pup, Rory, and a 1976 Airstream Argosy in tow. Her motto: Life is a scenic road, take your time and enjoy the ride.

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