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The Safest Cars in America

Here's what you need to know...
  • Every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety makes finding the safest cars easier by compiling a list
  • The category system makes it easier for new car buyers to choose the safest car by the type of car they are hoping to buy
  • Out of the 55 vehicles listed, the Volkswagen Touareg, Ford Fiesta, and Toyota Sienna are considered the safest in their category

There are a lot of different qualities that people look for when they are trying to choose a new car. Style, size, color, and functionality are a few of these qualities. Some people like to portray a certain image with the car they drive.

It does not matter if the new car owner wants to appear sleek, sporty, or cool; one of the main concerns of all drivers is safety.

Every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety makes finding the safest cars easier by compiling a list of the safest new cars in the United States.

We’ll let you know what the safest cars in America are today.

You can also search for the most affordable car insurance rates today by entering your ZIP code now!

How A Safe Car Is Chosen For The List

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issues four ratings for four different safety categories. The four ratings issued are poor, marginal, acceptable, and good.

These safety ratings are used to determine how well the car protects passengers in the event of a rear, side, and front impact collision, as well as vehicle rollover.

To make the annual list of the country’s safest cars, each vehicle must have a good rating in each category. The requirement of a good rating in the roof strength category for rollover is new for 2011.

This new requirement has severely affected the number of cars that made the list this year.

This new roof strength requirement was added after numerous studies showed that roof strength was connected to the rate of serious injuries caused by vehicle rollover.

To determine the quality of the car’s roof strength, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety uses a metal plate to push against the car’s roof at the rate of 0.2 inches each second.

The car’s roof must be able to withstand up to four times its own weight before the metal plate reaches a crush level of five inches for it to be given the good rating.

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The Car Safety Categories

After the list of the safest cars is compiled, it is then divided into seven separate categories. These seven categories are:

  • Large cars
  • Small cars
  • Midsize cars
  • Large SUVs
  • Mini-cars
  • Midsize SUVs
  • Minivans

The category system makes it easier for new car buyers to choose the safest car by the type of car they are hoping to buy.

Since the sheer number of cars available today can be very overwhelming, this list makes it easier than ever for buyers to choose the best car.

The Safest Cars in 2011


There are more than 55 cars listed below. These cars will be divided into their size-specific categories.

The cars that are listed as the safest large cars in the United States are:

  • Buick LaCrosse
  • Buick Regal
  • BMW 5-series (excluding the V8 and 4-wheel drive models)
  • Cadillac CTS Sedan
  • Ford Taurus
  • Hyundai Genesis
  • Infiniti M37
  • Infiniti M56
  • Lincoln MKS
  • Mercedes E Class
  • Toyota Avalon
  • Volvo S80

The safest small cars are:

  • Chevrolet Cruze
  • Honda Civic,
  • Kia Forte Sedan
  • Kia Soul
  • Mitsubishi Lancer (excluding the 4-wheel drive model)
  • Nissan Cube
  • Scion tC
  • Scion xB
  • Subaru Impreza (excluding the WRX model)
  • the 4-door VW Golf
  • the 4-door VW GTI

The safest midsize cars are: the Audi A3, the Audi A4, the

  • Audi A3
  • Audi A4
  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Chrysler 200
  • Dodge Avenger
  • Ford Fusion
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Mercedes C Class
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Volkswagen Jetta Sedan
  • Volkswagen Jetta Sport Wagon
  • Volvo C30

The safest midsize SUVs are:

  • Audi Q5
  • Cadillac SRX
  • Dodge Journey
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford Flex
  • GMC Terrain
  • Toyota Venza
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Lincoln MKT
  • Lexus RX
  • Kia Sorento (after March 2010)
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Mercedes-Benz GLK
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Subaru Tribeca
  • Volvo XC90
  • Volvo XC60

The safest large SUV is the Volkswagen Touareg, the safest mini-car is the Ford Fiesta that was built after July of 2010, and the safest minivan is currently the Toyota Sienna.

There were no pickup trucks that made the safest car list in 2011.

To find out which car insurance providers will give the best car insurance rates for one of the car safety leaders, just enter your ZIP code below!

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