Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more commonly known as the IIHS, publishes data about the safest vehicles on the road. Consumer Reports, meanwhile, has made a mark for itself finding the most reliable and affordable used cars. Now, in a move hopefully involving some form of elaborate Voltron-esque joining of forces, the two companies have combined their powers to provide the ultimate list of safe, reliable, and affordable used cars.
The IHS and Consumer Reports broke their recommendations down into two tiers: Best Choices and Good Choices.
Cars meeting the Best Choices criteria — which, let's face it, are the ones we all care about most — needed to fulfill the following criteria: a good rating on IIHS moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests and at least a good or acceptable rating in the driver-side small overlap front test; either four or five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (if rated); standard electronic stability control; and a curb weight greater than 2,750 pounds.
The vehicles also needed an above-average or better reliability score from Consumer Reports, a score of 3 or higher out of 5 on CR’s emergency handling test, and needed to satisfy the testing organization's demands that they could stop quickly enough.
Cars that met all of those criteria but had a “substantially higher than average” medical payment and personal injury protection claim frequency were excluded from the ranking, for...well, for obvious reasons.
More than 40 cars made since 2014 met the Best Choice criteria — but only eight managed to do it and be available for less than $10,000. Those eight are below.