The Safest Cars for 2021

There’s some good news for everyone on the road: today’s cars are safer than ever before. The number of cars, trucks and SUVs earning the highest ratings from the nonprofit that assesses vehicle safety more than doubled for the 2021 model year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recognized 49 models for providing the highest level of safety, earning the Top Safety Pick+. Another 41 vehicles earned Top Safety Pick (without the plus), bringing the total number of 2021 award winners to 90, compared with only 64 in 2020.

Manufacturers have responded well to the challenge of meeting modern-day safety expectations, according to the president of IIHS. The widespread availability and rapid advances in sensor technology, improvements in crash-test performance and other advanced safety features, and upgrades to engineering and design have led the way for more new vehicles being highly rated for safety than ever before.

Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ Awards

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards are given to vehicles that perform admirably in crash testing and other evaluations performed by the organization. The annual list is intended to give consumers an easy and efficient way to identify vehicles with the best level of safety available.

Not surprisingly, the automakers long associated with safety innovations garnered the most awards: Volvo received the most picks in the top category, Top Safety Pick+, with nine cars. Hyundai Motor Group, including the Hyundai, Kia and Geneses brands, earned the most overall with 17 awards (12 regular Top Safety Pick and five Top Safety Pick+). Honda, Toyota, Mazda, and Subaru also earned a number of awards. This year’s awards also included two minivans, the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, which qualified for the Top Safety Pick+ award and a pickup truck, the Ram 1500, which qualified for the Top Safety Pick. A year ago, there were no minivans or pickups on the list.

Contrarily, Mitsubishi has failed to earn a single award so far while General Motors, one of the largest car manufacturers in the world, received only two awards this year.

2021 Insurance Institute of Highway Safety Award Winners

SUVs and crossovers make up one of the fastest-growing new car markets in the United States. The growing popularity of these types of vehicles underscores the demand for comfort, passenger and cargo space, and safety features. While today’s larger cars and SUVs still afford more protection than smaller, lighter ones and are generally considered safer than their smaller counterparts, small to mid-sized vehicles have made significant strides and their label as being “unsafe” is one of the past. According to U.S. News & World Report, “many of the latest compact and subcompact cars are outfitted with advanced driver assistance features that can significantly reduce a vehicle’s impact speed or help prevent a collision altogether – features that were exclusive to luxury vehicles not long ago. More-effective crumple zones and higher-strength structural materials have also trickled down to these affordable models.”

No matter the size or type of vehicle, it is apparent that most automakers are making safety a top priority. The IIHS awards winners in 11 size categories, from small cars to large pickups. Take a look at the winners:

TOP SAFETY PICK+ AWARD WINNERS

SMALL CARS

  • Honda Insight
  • Mazda 3 hatchback
  • Mazda 3 sedan
  • Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

MIDSIZE CARS

  • Honda Accord
  • Kia K5 (built after November 2020)
  • Mazda 6
  • Nissan Altima
  • Nissan Maxima (built after November 2020)
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Camry

MIDSIZE LUXURY CARS

  • Acura TLX
  • Lexus ES 350
  • Lexus IS
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Volvo S60
  • Volvo S60 Recharge
  • Volvo V60
  • Volvo V60 Recharge

LARGE LUXURY CARS

  • Audi A6
  • Audi A6 allroad
  • Audi A7
  • Genesis G70
  • Genesis G90

SMALL SUVs

  • Mazda CX-3
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mazda CX-30 (built after September 2020)
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Subaru Forester

MIDSIZE SUVs

  • Ford Explorer
  • Hyundai Palisade
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Subaru Ascent
  • Toyota Highlander

MIDSIZE LUXURY SUVs

  • Acura RDX
  • Cadillac XT6
  • Hyundai Nexo
  • Lexus NX
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class with optional front crash prevention
  • Volvo XC60
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge
  • Volvo XC90
  • Volvo XC90 Recharge
  • Volvo XC40

LARGE SUVs

  • Audi e-tron
  • Audi e-tron Sportback

MINIVANS

  • Honda Odyssey
  • Toyota Sienna

TOP SAFETY PICK AWARD WINNERS

SMALL CARS

  • Honda Civic hatchback (excluding Type R performance variant)
  • Honda Civic sedan
  • Hyundai Veloster (with optional front crash prevention)
  • Kia Forte (with optional front crash prevention)
  • Kia Soul (with optional front crash prevention)
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Subaru Crosstrek (with optional front crash prevention)
  • Subaru Impreza sedan (with optional front crash prevention)
  • Subaru Impreza wagon (with optional front crash prevention)
  • Subaru WRX (with optional front crash prevention)
  • Toyota Corolla hatchback
  • Toyota Corolla sedan

MIDSIZE CARS

  • Hyundai Sonata

MIDSIZE LUXURY CARS

  • Audi A4
  • Audi A5 Sportback
  • BMW 3 series
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class (with optional front crash prevention)

LARGE CARS

  • Kia Stinger (with optional front crash prevention)

SMALL SUVs

  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Ford Escape
  • Honda CR-V
  • Hyundai Kona (with optional front crash prevention)
  • Hyundai Tucson (with optional front crash prevention)
  • Hyundai Venue
  • Kia Seltos (built after August 2020; with optional front crash prevention)
  • Kia Sportage (with optional front crash prevention)
  • Lexus UX
  • Lincoln Corsair
  • Toyota C-HR
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Toyota RAV4 Prime
  • Toyota Venza

MIDSIZE SUVs

  • Ford Edge
  • Kia Sorento
  • Kia Telluride
  • Volkswagen Tiguan

MIDSIZE LUXURY SUVs

  • Lexus RX
  • Lincoln Aviator
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC (with optional front crash prevention)

LARGE SUV

  • Audi Q8

LARGE PICKUP

  • Ram 1500 crew cab (with optional front crash prevention)

Car Accident Lawyers at Chalat Hatten & Banker

The attorneys at Chalat Hatten & Banker have been practicing personal injury law for over 30 years and represented victims in every type of traffic accident across Colorado. If you were injured in a car accident and need an experienced attorney who not only cares about your case, but who can also expertly support, investigate, litigate and negotiate on your behalf, contact us or fill out a free online consultation form.