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Safest Vehicles You Can Buy Right Now

January 1, 2015

Next to price, safety is the most important attribute consumers look for when buying a vehicle. After all, the main purpose of a car is to transport you and your most precious cargo -- your family -- where you need to go, and knowing your vehicle has a top safety rating can give you peace of mind.

To help you figure out which vehicles available today are the safest, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released the 71 winners of their 2015 Safety Awards. The awards include both Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ vehicles. Both designations are for vehicles with a good or acceptable rating in small overlap front test and good ratings in four other crash evaluations, however, the Top Safety Pick+ is for vehicles that also have frontal crash prevention systems.

2015 Top Safety Pick winners include the Chevrolet Spark, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Kia Optima, Lincoln MKZ, Toyota Avalon, and Infiniti QX60. And Top Safety Pick+ winners include the Toyota Sienna, Volvo XC60, Honda CR-V, Audi A3, Toyota Prius, Mazda 3, and Subaru Impreza. Below is a list of all the 2015 winners.

If you're considering purchasing any of these vehicles, I recommend you use TrueCar No Haggle and Edmunds Price Promise to get the best price from local dealers.

2015 Top Safety Pick Winners

VehicleCategorySmall Overlap Test GradeFront Crash Prevention
Chevrolet EquinoxMidsize SUVsGoodBasic
Chevrolet MalibuMidsize Moderately Priced CarsGoodBasic
Chevrolet SparkMinicarsAcceptableNone
Chevrolet VoltSmall CarsAcceptableBasic
Dodge DartSmall CarsAcceptableNone
Ford C-Max HybridSmall CarsAcceptableNone
Ford FocusSmall CarsAcceptableNone
Ford FusionMidsize Moderately Priced CarsAcceptableBasic
GMC TerrainMidsize SUVsGoodBasic
Honda Accord 2-DoorMidsize Moderately Priced CarsGoodBasic
Honda Accord 4-DoorMidsize Moderately Priced CarsGoodBasic
Honda Civic 2-DoorSmall CarsGoodNone
Honda Civic 4-DoorSmall CarsGoodBasic
Honda FitMinicarsAcceptableNone
Honda OdysseyMinivansGoodBasic
Hyundai Elantra SedanSmall CarsAcceptableNone
Hyundai SonataMidsize Moderately Priced CarsAcceptable Basic
Infiniti QX60Midsize Luxury SUVsGoodBasic
Kia OptimaMidsize Moderately Priced CarsAcceptableNone
Kia SedonaMinivansGoodBasic
Kia SoulSmall CarsGoodNone
Lincoln MKZMidsize Luxury CarsAcceptableBasic
Mini Cooper CountrymanSmall CarsGoodNone
Mitsubishi Lancer (except Ralliart & Evolution)Small CarsAcceptableNone
Mitsubishi Outlander SportSmall SUVsAcceptableNone
Nissan AltimaMidsize Moderately Priced CarsAcceptableNone
Nissan PathfinderMidsize SUVsGoodNone
Nissan RogueSmall SUVsGoodBasic
Scion FR-SSmall CarsAcceptableNone
Scion tCSmall CarsAcceptableNone
Subaru BRZSmall CarsAcceptableNone
Subaru WRXSmall CarsGoodNone
Toyota AvalonLarge Family CarsGoodBasic
Toyota RAV4 (built after Nov 2014)Small SUVsGoodNone
Volkswagen GolfSmall CarsGoodBasic
Volkswagen GTI 4-DoorSmall CarsGoodBasic
Volkswagen JettaMidsize Moderately Priced CarsGoodBasic
Volkswagen PassatMidsize Moderately Priced CarsAcceptableNone

2015 Top Safety Pick+ Winners (includes Frontal Crash Prevention)

VehicleCategorySmall Overlap Test GradeFront Crash Prevention
Acura MDXMidsize Luxury SUVsGoodAdvanced
Acura RLXLarge Luxury CarsGoodAdvanced
Acura TLXMidsize Luxury CarsAcceptableSuperior
Audi A3Midsize Luxury CarsGoodAdvanced
BWM 2 SeriesMidsize Luxury CarsGoodAdvanced
Chrysler 200Midsize Moderately Priced CarsGoodSuperior
Honda CR-VSmall SUVsGoodSuperior
Hyundai GenesisLarge Luxury CarsGoodSuperior
Infiniti Q50Midsize Luxury CarsAcceptableSuperior
Infiniti Q70 (except V-8 4WD)Large Luxury CarsGoodSuperior
Lexus CT 200h (Built after Sept. 2014)Small CarsGoodAdvanced
Lexus NXMidsize Luxury SUVsGoodAdvanced
Lexus RCLarge Luxury CarsGoodAdvanced
Mazda 3Small CarsGoodAdvanced
Mazda 6Midsize Moderately Priced CarsAcceptableAdvanced
Mazda CX-5Small SUVsGoodAdvanced
Mercedes-Benz E-ClassLarge Luxury CarsGoodSuperior
Mercedes-Benz M-ClassMidsize Luxury SUVsGoodSuperior
Mitsubishi OutlanderSmall SUVsGoodAdvanced
Subaru ForesterSmall SUVsGoodSuperior
Subaru ImprezaSmall CarsGoodSuperior
Subaru LegacyMidsize Moderately Priced CarsGoodSuperior
Subaru OutbackMidsize Moderately Priced CarsGoodSuperior
Subaru XV CrosstrekSmall CarsGoodSuperior
Toyota CamryMidsize Moderately Priced CarsGoodAdvanced
Toyota HighlanderMidsize SUVsAcceptableAdvanced
Toyota PriusSmall CarsAcceptableAdvanced
Toyota Prius vMidsize Moderately Priced CarsGoodAdvanced
Toyota SiennaMinivanAcceptableAdvanced
Volvo S60Midsize Luxury CarsGoodSuperior
Volvo S80Large Luxury CarsGoodSuperior
Volvo V60Midsize Luxury CarsGoodSuperior
Volvo XC60Midsize Luxury SUVsGoodSuperior

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar, Edmunds, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
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Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan


Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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