It’s likely you’re hitting the road for Memorial Day weekend — AAA predicts that almost 42 million people will travel this year, many by car. Here’s hoping your travels are smooth and safe. To aid with the latter, every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety releases a list of the safest cars on the road based on things crash test ratings, crash prevention systems, down to headlight quality ratings. Based on the IIHS ratings, these are 10 of the safest cars we’ve reviewed in recent months.
Safest Small Cars
Chevy Volt “The cabin itself is tall and airy, with tons of legroom front and rear. The cargo area is also deep for a car about the size of a Honda Fit, big enough to swallow about four duffel bags. For city-dwelling families and admirers of usable space, it’s a huge plus. ” – Andrew Connor, Staff Writer
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Safest Mid-Sized Cars
Honda Accord “The biggest takeaway from driving the new Accord wasn’t so much it’s sporty acumen but rather how nice of a place it is to spend time. The cabin is roomy both front and back, and placement of all the buttons, switches and instruments are ergonomically sound.” – Andrew Connor, Staff Writer
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Alfa Romeo Giulia “A handful of the engineers who worked on Ferrari’s 458 Speciale were commissioned to fine tune the Quadrifoglio. That process involved taking the twin-turbo V8 from the Ferrari 488, removing two of its cylinders, then dropping it in the Giulia. It’s a lovely Ferrari V6 for common folk, though Ferrari refuses to officially put its name on the thing — this engine is the spiritual successor to the Dino.” – Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer
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Audi A3/S3/RS3 “It’s the engine’s performance that brings the platform to the place it needs to be. The base-level A3 drives as if there’s too much car for the engine and the S3 finds a nicer balance between power and control — but giving the RS3 100 horsepower on top of that adds the extra thrill needed to make the car really entertaining.” – Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer
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Audi A4/S4/RS4 “Through multiple corners, I found myself mid-turn, engine singing, steering wheel steady as a rock, traction control off, with my foot to the floor, right next to my jaw. Every time I tried to prod some hooliganism out of the car, I got an enthusiastic “ja, bitte” from the engine and a stern “nein, danke” from the rear differential, as both shook hands in the middle as they conspired to make me a quicker driver than I am.” – Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer
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BMW 2-Series “The car grips hard, easily carrying speed through corners, and turn-in is incredibly sharp. It’s a confidence-inspiring car, and the fact that the M2 has been shown to give the M4 a run for its money on the track — despite having 60 fewer horsepower and costing $15,000 less — is telling of how significantly different the M2’s approach to performance is.” – Andrew Connor, Staff Writer
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Volvo V60 ” The Sensus infotainment screen dominates the center stack and is framed thoughtfully by optional open-pore wood trim and massive, fin-style vents with diamond-cut knobs. There’s a big increase in interior space too, with almost 100 more liters of cargo room out back and a big improvement in rear legroom over the outgoing car.” – Brian Leon, Contributing Writer
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Safest Large Luxury Cars
Lincoln Continental “In terms of engineering and luxury prowess, Lincoln is again doing things on par with global giants like Mercedes and Cadillac — a trend that’s begun recently, with the brand’s pledge to introduce a new car every year for a handful of years. In 2018 we’ll get the new Navigator, which is phenomenal to behold; it’ll give the Escalade and the GL550 a run for their money, and likely undercut their prices, too.” – Nick Caruso, Associate Editor
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Safest Mid-Sized SUVs
Mercedes-Benz GLC “What you’d want is what I’d want: a really goddamn fun car to drive. One that looks a little aggressive or a bit more stylish than other, pedestrian, dumb crossovers. You’d want a fast, demonic-sounding, weirdly-proportioned car that’s a bit too upright and short for its own good. You’d want something the madmen at AMG took and made better, more evil. You’d want a Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S.” – Nick Caruso, Associate Editor
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Volvo XC60 “What the XC60 does well, it does extremely well. In keeping with the brand’s new design language, the XC60 falls in line with the drop-dead gorgeous XC90 SUV as well as with the S90 sedan and V90 wagon variants. (Since you’re wondering, the V90 Cross Country is the one to get, hands down.) It is stunningly beautiful amidst a background of bland competition.” – Nick Caruso, Associate Editor
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