Whether the reason is a family to protect or simply a desire to go fast and live hard, safety is paramount when choosing a new car. It doesn’t matter how good a driver is, accidents can and do happen. When they do, it helps to be in one of the following 14 nearly indestructible vehicles. While no car or truck is truly indestructible, these 14 vehicles have been given the Top Safety Pick+ rating by IIHS, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. IIHS ratings are a common benchmark for safety in the auto industry, with good ratings often headlining advertising for vehicles with top safety features.
The Top Safety Pick+ designation means that not only did the vehicle earn a 2015 Top Safety Pick, but it also demonstrated a superior or advanced rating in terms of front crash prevention. The initial Top Safety pick qualification indicates that the vehicle was rated as acceptable or good when the strength of the roof, moderate overlap front, side and head restraint were rested. Vehicles with a Top Safety Pick+ designation aren’t limited to family cars and minivans, though. Read on to experience a wide variety of the most safest vehicles on the market today in random order.
Prized for many years by American consumers for being affordable and reliable, the 2016 Toyota Scion iA is no different. With an automatic MSRP of $17,595, the safety conscious Minicar is a remarkable value – the average American pays $33,560 for a new car. The Scion iA received good marks in all strength tests, and also features the advanced front crash protection that earned its Top Safety Pick+ status. With a low price point and great safety ratings, it’s easy to see how this zippy little auto could be perfect for an individual, couple or small family. The IIHS gave only a moderate rating to the ease of use of the four door sedan’s child seat anchor latching, so parents should pay extra attention to the security of any child seats in the vehicle.
2. 2016 Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen has historically manufactured many vehicles which have received worldwide safety accolades. The 2016 Volkswagen Golf is the latest in a long line of cars produced by the German manufacturer which are required to undergo rigorous safety testing. The four door hatchback has a reasonable starting MSRP of $20,175. Earning good rating in all strength tests, the car also features top ratings for optional safety features available to the model. These include a rollover sensor, which deploys side airbags if the vehicle senses that it is about to roll over. This feature is employed in many of the indestructible vehicles featured here.
3. 2016 Volvo XC90
Safety isn’t just for sedans, and the 2016 Volvo XC90 knows it. The midsize luxury SUV, which has a slightly higher price point of $49,800, features the same top strength ratings as competitors while also boasting front crash protection declared by the IIHS to be superior. Unlike some of the other vehicles on this list, the XC90 was rated acceptable on the ease of use of child seat anchors. In combination with the electronic stability control, roll stability control, optional built in child restraints and driver knee airbag to reduce knee injuries in a frontal crash, this makes the spacious SUV a particularly safe car for families. Remarkably, the XC90 has earned top ratings on all strength tests on every model since 2005.
4. 2015 Infiniti Q50
A wise driver would never sacrifice luxury for safety. When driving the 2015 Infiniti Q250, motorists no longer have to choose. The sleek midsize luxury car earns top ratings in side, roof, moderate overlap front, head restraint and seat strength, but only an average rating in small overlap front crashworthiness. Front crash prevention, however, is rated as superior. Nissan’s luxury car division has been operating since 1989, producing passenger vehicles, racing engines and concept cars that have drawn tons of attention from around the world. At $37,150, this Infiniti costs a little more than the average American spends on a new car, but the perfect combination of luxury and safety make it a worthwhile and wise investment.
5. 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander
Drivers who like to take long trips, road trips and rough and tumble vacations can all appreciate an SUV with both plenty of space and superior safety ratings. Receiving good strength ratings across the board and an advanced front crash prevention rating from the IIHS, the Outlander has long been a popular choice of safety conscious travelers who use their vehicle hard. Originally founded as a shipping company in 1870 by Yatarō Iwasaki, the Mitsubishi company has long focused on reliability, function and safety to make vehicles that can get on the road and stay there. Starting at an MSRP of only $22,995, the Outlander is a fantastic deal for anyone who needs an indestructible vehicle with space to spare.
6. 2015 Hyundai Genesis
Many people associate the cars produced by Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company with street racing. The sleek cars are fast and compact while still sturdy, a popular choice for gearheads to customize. Hyundai’s offerings neither begin nor end there. The Hyundai Genesis is a spacious luxury auto with an affordable starting MSRP of $26,750. Beyond that, the car received top ratings in all safety areas, including highly coveted front crash prevention. The Genesis’ low and high speed autobraking were thoroughly vetted and highly rated, proving that the vehicle’s collision avoidance system works well at both low and high speed – 12 and 25 miles per hour, respectively.
7. 2016 Acura RDX
One of the more popular midsized luxury SUVs on the market, it’s hard to go to anywhere without seeing an Acura RDX or two. These spacious autos are popular for a reason. Significant cargo volume in addition to top safety ratings bring consumers back to the brand again and again. Acura functions as the luxury car division of Honda Motor Co., and both Acura and Honda models are rated in multiple categories as Top Safety Pick+ choices by the IIHS. The Acura RDX’s starting MSRP of $35,270 is slightly higher than other SUVs on this list; however, luxury features that include an electronic dashboard interface featuring Siri and Bluetooth capabilities make the car a reasonable choice for luxury SUV lovers.
8. 2015 Toyota Sienna
Nobody’s going to be racing or drifting in the 2015 Toyota Sienna, but the popular minivan model can still go hard, as evidenced by excellent IIHS ratings across the board. In recent years, family minded consumers have gravitated toward the Sienna. Top safety ratings, special safety features that include rarely seen seat cushion airbags, and a low starting MSRP of $28,700 have no doubt contributed to the popularity of the spacious minivan. Potential buyers should note that small overlap front crashworthiness was rated as average rather than good, but that didn’t stop Kelley Blue Book from rating last year’s model as one of the best family cars on the market in 2014. The indestructibility of the Sienna has only continued to grow since then.
9. 2015 Audi A3
As far as midsized luxury vehicles go, the 2015 Audi A3 is one of the most indestructible in its class. Another IIHS Top Safety Pick+, this ideal sedan for singles, couples and small families gets excellent gas mileage and comes in below the national average in price with a starting MSRP of $29,900. The vehicle’s advanced front crash prevention is able to avoid collisions at low speeds. German manufacured Audi A3s are nearly as indestructible as their circuit racing cousins- Audi is a major manufacturer of race cars used primarily in American and European circuit racing. The company enjoyed domination in seven American and two European Le Mans Series events with their Audi R8, making it one of the best race cars of all time.
10. 2015 Subaru Outback
The Subaru Outback, a car often advertised as being perfect for the adventurous consumer, has proved that it can hold up to rigorous safety standard tests. Even the name of the vehicle was chosen by Subaru to reflect the Australian outback, land that is nearly impossible to traverse, because the vehicle is able to go off road with a greater degree of success than many other mid sized cars. With cargo room to spare and the highest rated front crash prevention available, Outbacks are ready to roll. For many years, the model was more of a station wagon, however, the release of the car’s fifth generation model introduced a chassis more similar in size to a crossover SUV. At a starting MSRP of $24,895, the Outback’s stellar safety features and moderate price point have made it a popular car for rugged vacationers and safety conscious families alike.
11. 2015 Lexus CT 200h
Lexus is a brand that models elegance and class with their sleek designs. While many imagine the spacious midsize luxury cars that are often the brand’s primary focus, the 2015 Lexus CT 200h is a small 4-door hatchback that shouldn’t be ignored. Top safety ratings and features that include optional front crash preparedness make the small but sturdy hybrid car, which gets fantastic gas mileage both in the city and on the highway, a safe and economical choice for consumers. The CT 200h has a starting MSRP of $32,200, a price that brings the luxury brand back down into the range of possibility for many auto shoppers. Founded in 1989, Lexus is the luxury auto division of Japan’s Toyota Motor Company. Numerous models of both Lexus and Toyota vehicles have been named by the IIHS as top safety picks for 2015, a testament to the rigorous safety standards the brands have implemented as the top automotive manufacturer in the world.
12. 2016 Fiat 500X
Arguably as evocative of luxury as a Lexus, Italy’s Fiat 500X is a mini crossover SUV that is rapidly becoming a consumer favorite. The model was first demonstrated to the public back in October of 2014. The 500X goes the distance not only in its strength and safety, but in its very affordable starting MSRP of $20,000. The demand for European manufactured and styled vehicles has risen sharply in recent years. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles manufactures not only their two eponymous makes, but also Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Dodge, Jeep and Ram. Though largely thought of as an Italian brand, Fiats have been manufactured in the United States since 1908, when the Fiat Automobile Co. opened their first American plant in Poughkeepsie, New York.
13. 2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
With all the panache and luxury that comes with driving a vehicle like the Mercedes M-Class, it would be a shame if it wasn’t also able to take a beating. Luckily, that’s not a problem. The 2015 Top Safety Pick+ is able to reduce impact speeds before a collision happens and was given a super front crash prevention rating by the IIHS. As one might imagine, a midsize luxury SUV like the M-Class has a higher price point than most of the other vehicles here. The starting MSRP of $48,300 puts the attractive and spacious vehicle out of the price range of some, but should a price tag be put on safety? This model has amazing safety technologies, including a feature called “Attention Assist” which can determine if a driver is falling asleep and alert them that they need to pull over for their safety. Half of indestructibility is prevention, and the German-manufactured M-Class has that in spades.
14. 2015 Nissan Murano
In recent years, sport utility vehicles have largely eclipsed the minivan as the family car that’s perfect for point A to point B travel as well as road trips and vacations. The 2015 Nissan Murano is a spacious, safe and reasonably priced midsize SUV. The model has been popular since its December 2002 premiere. Interestingly, from 2010 to 2014, Nissan Motor Company marketed a convertible model of the Murano called the CrossCabriolet. AutoPacific has named the Murano the best premium mid-size SUV, and the model also received a North American Truck of the Year nomination in 2013. The Nissan Rogue, the company’s other midsize SUV offering, did not perform as well in IIHS safety tests. Highly rated on Edmunds.com and Car and Driver thanks to its spacious interior, towing capacity, sturdy structure and low starting MSRP of $29,560, the Murano remains a model to watch.