The Olympic Games Round 1: Safety


Welcome to the Olympic Games! We’re bringing together the most popular and capable 2016 cars, trucks, and SUVs from around the world to compete for the coveted gold medal. These vehicles have been training for the last 4 years, preparing for this once in a lifetime opportunity, to be dubbed the best in the world. Let the drama, competition, and sportsmanship begin. It’s time for the 2016 Olympic Games! *Dum Dum Da Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Du Du Dum Dum Dum Du Du Dum Da Da Dum Dum Duuuum*


The qualifying rounds were intense. We chose mid-size cars, half-ton trucks, and mid-size SUVs. In order to qualify, these vehicles had to be popular on, and generally considered as top competitors in their classes by our journalists, and from a variety of outside automotive journalists.


Safety – 1st Event

A top priority in today’s fast-paced world is automotive safety. Our competitors have been rigorously crash tested by the NHTSA, the IIHS, and each vehicle’s safety features have been evaluated by the judges.

Mid-size Cars


Gold-MedalGold: Honda Accord

The 2016 North American Car of the Year, the 2016 Honda Accord, earns the gold. It was the only car to achieve completely perfect crash testing from both the NHTSA and IIHS. Along with great crash test performance, the Accord has the best headlight safety rating of the bunch. Most trims are loaded with top-notch safety tech, including Honda LaneWatch, an extremely useful lane-changing camera.

Silver-MedalSilver: Chevrolet Malibu

Score one for the USA. Thanks to a completely new body structure, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu achieved perfect ratings in everything except a 4-star rating in the NHTSA rollover test. Malibu comes with the full list of expected advanced safety features, along with a new addition called Front Pedestrian Braking. As Pokemon Go gains popularity, this feature may prove to be quite useful.

Bronze-MedalBronze: Hyundai Sonata

After a 2015 redesign, the 2016 Hyundai Sonata sneaks onto the podium ahead of a few impressive competitors. The Sonata added automatic emergency braking this year, dramatically improving crash avoidance ability. The only shortcoming of the Sonata is a 4-star NHTSA rollover rating. All other crash avoidance tech is available, if not standard.

Ford Fusion – Fell short in the IIHS’s difficult “small overlap front” test
Toyota Camry – Achieved imperfect frontal crash and rollover ratings from the NHTSA
Nissan Altima – Barely missed bronze, with a 4-star rollover rating from the NHTSA, and crash avoidance tech rated slightly lower than the winners

Half-ton Trucks


Gold-MedalGold: Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 easily takes the safety gold medal, with a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS and 5 stars from the NHTSA.  For IIHS testing, the F-150 aced every crash test. The only item keeping the F-150 from achieving Top Safety Pick + status was a basic rating for “Crash Avoidance & Mitigation.” Take note, the 4-door SuperCrew models have more available safety tech than 2-door versions.

Silver-MedalSilver: Chevrolet Silverado 1500

If you want a safe truck, you can’t go wrong with the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado. Aside from a less-than-perfect score in the IIHS “small overlap front” test, the Silverado 1500 was perfect. Aside from the expected collision avoidance and warning systems, this year’s Silverado can sport a camera-based forward collision warning system, and ItelliBeam headlamps.

Bronze-MedalBronze: GMC Sierra 1500

The Silverado drafted off the GMC Sierra 1500 the whole time, and the Sierra allowed its teammate to take the silver, humbly achieving the bronze. With a slightly higher price, the GMC Sierra offers virtually the exact same safety in terms of test and crash worthiness.

Toyota Tundra – Fell short in the IIHS “small overlap front” test and the NHTSA “roof strength” test in its Crew Cab form
RAM 1500 – Also fell short in the IIHS “small overlap front” test and the NHTSA “roof strength” test

Mid-size SUVs


Gold-MedalGold: Kia Sorento

The all-new 2016 Kia Sorento has emerged victorious in the mid-size SUV safety competition. With perfect ratings in every single crash test, barring the 4-star NHTSA rollover test, the Sorento is extremely crashworthy. While the Sorento is packed with safety features, a few of the most notable features are side curtain airbags with rollover sensors, front active headrests, and an impressive surround-view camera.

Silver-MedalSilver: Honda Pilot

Also all-new, the 2016 Honda Pilot has a new platform, helping this SUV achieve tops rankings from the IIHS. The NHTSA gave the Pilot 5-stars, but it fell slightly short of perfect in the front crash and rollover tests. With the unique Honda LaneWatch feature and a myriad of other safety tech options, the Pilot isn’t very likely to get in a crash.

Bronze-MedalBronze: Toyota Highlander

The 2016 Toyota Highlander scored the exact same crash test ratings as the Honda Pilot, though it’s crash avoidance tech was rated slightly lower by the IIHS. The Highlander is crashworthy, tech-savvy, and also has great visibility thanks to bigger rear-quarter windows.

Ford Explorer – Fell short in “small overlap front” test and NHTSA rollover test
Jeep Grand Cherokee – Achieved only 4 stars overall from NHTSA with 2WD (5 stars with 4WD) due to rollover concerns
Chevrolet Traverse – Hasn’t been subjected to the IIHS “small overlap front” test, fell short in NHTSA rollover tests
Dodge Durango – Achieved only 4 stars from the NHTSA with less-than-perfect rollover and frontal crash scores, along with imperfect IIHS “small overlap front” scores

 Stay tuned for our next medal ceremony where we’ll take a look at performance and efficiency to see who will take home the gold!