The Safest Cars of 2013

Is safety your top priority in a car? Then there are several choices for your consideration.

Each year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates cars based on their performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

The cars are then rated with Good, Acceptable, Marginal or Poor in each of the four crash scenarios. In order for any car model to be named one of the Institutes “Top Safety Picks,” it must earn a Good rating in all four tests.

For 2013, the IIHS named these vehicles as their Top Safety Picks:

Small Cars

  • Acura ILX
  • Chevrolet Cruze
  • Chevrolet Sonic
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Dodge Dart
  • Fiat 500
  • Ford Fiesta (sedan and hatchback)
  • Ford Focus 4-door (sedan and hatchback)
  • Honda Civic 4-door
  • Honda CR-Z
  • Honda Fit
  • Honda Insight
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Kia Forte (sedan)
  • Kia Soul
  • Lexus CT 200h
  • Mazda 3 (sedan and hatchback)
  • Mini Cooper Countryman
  • Mitsubishi Lancer
  • Nissa Versa (sedan)
  • Nissan Cube
  • Nissan Juke
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Scion FR-S
  • Scion tC
  • Scion xB
  • Scion xD
  • Subaru BRZ
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Subaru XV Crosstrek
  • Toyata Yaris 4-door (hatchback)
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Toyota Prius
  • Toyota Prius c
  • Volkswagen Golf 4-door
  • Volkswagen GTI 4-door

Midsize Cars

  • Acura TL
  • Acura TSX (sedan and Sport Wagon)
  • Audi A3
  • Audi A4 (sedan)
  • BMW 3 series (sedan)
  • Buick Verano
  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Chrysler 200 4-door
  • Dodge Avenger
  • Ford Fusion
  • Honda Accord
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Kia Optima
  • Lexus ES 350
  • Lincoln MKZ
  • Mercedes C Class
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Prius v
  • Volkswagen CC
  • Volkswagen Jetta (sedan)
  • Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
  • Volkswagen Passat
  • Volvo C30

Large Cars

  • Audi A6
  • BMW 5 series
  • Buick LaCrosse
  • Buick Regal
  • Cadillac CTS (sedan)
  • Chrysler 300
  • Dodge Charger
  • Ford Taurus
  • Hyundai Azera
  • Hyundai Equus
  • Hyundai Genesis
  • Infiniti M37/M56
  • Lexus GS
  • Lincoln MKS
  • Mercedes E class
  • Saab 9-5
  • Toyota Avalon
  • Volvo S80

Small SUVs

  • Ford Escape
  • Honda CR-V
  • Hundai Tucson
  • Jeep Patriot
  • Kia Sportage
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
  • Subaru Forester
  • Volkswagen Tiguan

Midsize SUVs

  • Acura MDX
  • Acura RDX
  • Audi Q5
  • BMW X3
  • Cadillac SRX
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Dodge Durango
  • Dodge Journey
  • Ford Edge
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford Flex
  • GMC Terrain
  • Honda Pilot
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Infiniti EX35
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Kia Sorento
  • Lexus RX
  • Lincoln MKT
  • Lincoln MKX
  • Mercedes GLK
  • Mercedes M class
  • Saab 9-4X
  • Subaru Tribeca
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Toyota Venza
  • Volvo XC60
  • Volvo XC90

Large SUVs

  • Buick Enclave
  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • GMC Acadia
  • Volkswagen Touareg


  • Chrysler Town & Country
  • Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Toyota Sienna
  • Volkswagen Routan


  • Ford F-150 (crew cab models)
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Toyota Tundra (crew cab models) Driving Safety Articles:
This article was written by defensive driving staff writers and reviewed for accuracy by defensive driving instructors. All articles are based on current traffic laws and defensive driving practices. This article is intended for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as legal advice or literal interpretation of any specific traffic law.

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