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The Safest and Deadliest Used Vehicles

February 26, 2015

The safety of a vehicle is one of the most important factors to consider when making a purchase. After all, big savings and lots of bells and whistles are not going to do you any good if the car you're driving does not keep you and your loved ones safe.

To help car buyers figure out which used cars are safe and which are not, Forbes recently did an interesting study to see which models had the lowest and highest rates of death according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Interestingly, there are 9 models sold between 2009 and 2012 that have had ZERO deaths attributed to them. At the top of the safe list are the likes of the Audi A4, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sorento and Lexus RX 350 AWD, all with zero deaths reported since 2011.

Below is the full list of 19 safest used vehicles, as well as 19 used vehicles with the most driver fatalities.

Safest Used Vehicles

RankVehicleCategoryDriver Deaths (per million registered)*
1Audi A4 AWDMidsize luxury sedan0
2Honda OdysseyMinivan0
3Kia SorentoMidsize SUV0
4Lexus RX 350 AWDMidsize luxury SUV0
5Mercedes-Benz GL-Class 4WDLarge luxury SUV0
6Subaru Legacy AWD 4-DoorMidsize sedan0
7Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWDMidsize SUV0
8Toyota Sequoia 4WDLarge SUV0
9Volvo XC90 AWDMidsize luxury SUV0
10Honda Pilot AWDMidsize SUV2
11Mercedes-Benz M-Class 4WDMidsize luxury SUV3
12Ford Crown VictoriaLarge sedan4
13GMC Yukon 4WDLarge SUV4
14Acura TL Midsize luxury car5
15Chevrolet EquinoxMidsize SUV5
16Chevrolet Equinox AWDMidsize SUV5
17Ford Expedition 4WDLarge SUV5
18Ford Flex Midsize SUV5
19Mazda CX-9 AWDMidsize SUV5
*IIHS data from the 2011 model year and 2009-2012 where applicable.


Riskiest Used Vehicles

RankVehicleCategory Driver Deaths (per million registered)**
1Kia Rio 4-DoorSubcompact149
2Nissan VersaSubcompact sedan130
3Hyundai Accent 4-DoorSubcompact120
4Chevrolet Aveo 4-DoorSubcompact99
5Hyundai Accent 2-DoorSubcompact86
6Chevrolet CamaroSports coupe80
7Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 4WDPickup79
8Honda CivicCompact coupe76
9Nissan VersaSubcompact hatchback71
10Ford Focus 4-DoorCompact70
11Nissan CubeCompact station wagon66
12Chevrolet HHRCompact station wagon61
13Chevrolet SuburbanFull-size SUV60
14Chevrolet AveoSubcompact hatchback58
15Mercury Grand MarquisFull-size sedan57
16Jeep PatriotCompact SUV57
17Mazda Mazda6Midsize sedan54
18Dodge NitroMidsize SUV51
19Honda CivicCompact sedan49
**IIHS data from the 2011 model year and 2009-2012 if from the same design generation.

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

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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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