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These are the safest new cars hitting the road in 2017

Posted at 2:53 PM, Dec 22, 2016

If you’re considering a new car purchase in 2017, it’s important to know which makes and models will keep you and your family safe in the event of a crash. (Because really, this should be the first thing we look at before we buy!)

To make sure your 2017 car is safe, experts at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) crash-test all sorts of vehicles in all sorts of different ways.

There are five categories that each car has to pass in order to be a Top Safety Pick. The categories are:

  • Moderate overlap frontal test: They run the car into a wall that, when hit, covers 40% of the front of the car.
  • Small overlap frontal test: Same as the moderate overlap, but the wall covers 25% of the car when hit (think: hitting a telephone pole).
  • Side test: Here they test side impact.
  • Roof strength: They test the roof’s ability to hold its shape during a roll-over. The car needs to handle a force that’s at least four times its own weight, or a ratio of 4:1.
  • Head restraint test: This is done to make sure your neck is protected in the event of an accident.

If a car has passes the previous requirements, it qualifies for Top Safety Pick+ consideration. Along with the five previous categories, this prestigious award adds the following:

  • Front crash prevention: This tests the computers in your car to see if they can prevent a frontal crash.
  • Headlights: They make sure you can see the deer in the ditch from hundreds of yards away.

In order to make comparisons simple, the IIHS divided the cars into different classes and sizes. They didn’t want to compare apples to oranges, or large trucks to small cars.

Also, with most of these cars, there are certain models and add-on features that, when present, received this award, so make sure you read the fine print for each safe car.

Below is a list of every 2017 car, SUV, minivan and truck that were either a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+:

Top Safety Picks


2017 Mini Cooper*#

2017 Toyota Yaris iA

Small cars

2017 Acura ILX*

2017 Honda Civic 2-door coupe*

2017 Honda Civic 4-door sedan*

2017 Lexus CT 200h*

2017 Nissan Sentra*

2017 Subaru Crosstrek*

2017 Subaru WRX*

2017 Volkswagen Golf*#

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack*

2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen*

2017 Volkswagen GTI*#

Midsize cars

2017 Chevrolet Malibu*

2017 Chrysler 200*

2017 Ford Fusion*

2017 Honda Accord 2-door coupe*

2017 Hyundai Sonata*

2017 Kia Optima*

2017 Volkswagen Passat*

Midsize luxury cars

2017 Audi A3

2017 BMW 2 series*

2017 Lincoln MKZ*

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class*#

Large cars

2017 Toyota Avalon

Large luxury cars

2017 Acura RLX

2017 Audi A6*

2017 Infiniti Q70*#

2017 Volvo S90

Small SUVs

2017 BMW X1*

2017 Fiat 500X*

2017 Hyundai Tucson*

2017 Kia Sportage*

Midsize SUVs

2017 GMC Acadia*

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport*

2017 Kia Sorento*

2017 Nissan Murano*

2017 Nissan Pathfinder*

Midsize luxury SUVs

2017 Cadillac XT5*

2017 Infiniti QX60*

2017 Lincoln MKX*

2017 Volvo XC90

Large SUVs

2017 Audi Q7

2017 Kia Sedona*

Top Safety Picks +

Small cars

2017 Chevrolet Volt*

2017 Hyundai Elantra*^#

2017 Mazda 3*^
4-door hatchback | 4-door sedan

2017 Toyota Corolla

2017 Toyota Prius#

Midsize cars

2017 Honda Accord 4-door sedan*^

2017 Mazda 6*^

2017 Nissan Altima*^

2017 Nissan Maxima*^

2017 Subaru Legacy*^

2017 Subaru Outback*^

2017 Toyota Camry*^

2017 Toyota Prius v*^

2017 Volkswagen Jetta*^

Midsize luxury cars

2017 Audi A4^

2017 Lexus ES 350^

2017 Volvo S60^

2017 Volvo V60^

Large luxury cars

2017 Genesis G80

2017 Genesis G90^

2017 Lexus RC*^

Small SUVs

2017 Mazda CX-3*^

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander*^

2017 Nissan Rogue*^

2017 Subaru Forester*^#

2017 Toyota RAV4^

Midsize SUVs

2017 Honda Pilot*^

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe*^#

Midsize luxury SUVs

2017 Acura MDX

2017 Acura RDX*

2017 Audi Q5*^

2017 Buick Envision*^

2017 Lexus NX*^

2017 Lexus RX^

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class^

2017 Volvo XC60^


2017 Chrysler Pacifica*^#

Large pickups

2017 Honda Ridgeline*^

* — with optional front crash prevention

^ — with specific headlights

# — applies to certain models and vehicles built after a certain date

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