The Safest Cars of 2013

Cars In Parking LotThe safest cars worth talking about

Everyone’s got a type. When it comes to the safest cars, most buyers aren’t looking for the safest cars alone. They want the safest minivan or the safest family sedan or, on occasion, the safest sports car. We broke our results out into categories to help you quickly and easily find the safest cars you might actually want to buy.

The safest luxury cars (2013)

Two cars this year made headlines with their superior safety ratings. That’s not to say that there weren’t other cars that were ranked equally, but these two got a lot of publicity. Of the two, only one is available around the globe. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class is one of Mercedes’ best-selling models. In 2013 the Mercedes C Class earned a Superior rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). One key feature that helped the C Class take the lead was the implementation of an advanced new technology called DISTRONIC PLUS. This is “smart” technology that allows the vehicle to adapt its speed and can even apply up to 40% of the cars total braking power if the car’s sensors detect stopped or slowed traffic. It can even audibly alert the driver that traffic ahead is stopped or slowed.

New Tesla S ModelAnother of the safest cars of 2013 in the luxury category goes to the much-hyped Tesla S. The all-electric luxury car was hailed by its creator as having received the “highest safety rating ever”. As it turns out the Tesla Model S got the same superior rating that any other vehicle gets when it exceeds requirements for safety. More notable, perhaps, was that when the Tesla S was placed in the infamous “crush test” the machine that was supposed to be crushing the car actually broke. Tesla has been very vocal about this result hailing it as a testament to how safe the Model S really is.

The safest family cars (2013)

Black Honda Civic Coupe SIFor smaller-sized family vehicles, the 2013 Honda Civic (both sedan and coupe) made the list of safest cars for the 2013-2014 model year. The Honda Civic was actually named a Top Safety Pick in its category by the IIHS, which is a pretty notable honor. There wasn’t any fancy new technology involved in its enhanced safety rating, just really solid engineering. Honda has a reputation for making safe cars. For a while during the early 2000’s the Accord took the lead, but had well documented mechanical issues. The Civic has now taken the lead to become the IIHS’ top safety pick.

For midsized family cars, the Chrysler 200 took the top spot. Reports everywhere are praising the Chrysler 200 largely for its consistent year over year improvements to car safety. One of the cars more notable safety features is an airbag system that deploys at different rates according to the speed at which you’re travelling.

Also worth mentioning is the Subaru Forrester. The Forrester was one of the top performing vehicles in the IIHS’ new Small Overlap Crash Test. While the Forrester didn’t receive a superior rating overall, it did exceptionally well in a crash that the IIHS has identified as being one of the most common types of crashes. We have more in-depth coverage of the Subaru Forrester’s Small Overlap Crash Test results in this article.

The Safest Minivan (2013)

Silver Volkswagen RoutanLeading the pack of the safest cars in the minivan category is the Volkswagen Routan. Volkswagen has been known for its safety ratings for a long time and their minivan offering is no exception. The Routan has received the IIHS’ highest safety rating for the last four years in a row. Features such as stability and traction control, as well as front, rear, and third row head airbags combine to create a stable and safe large family car.

Shopping for a family car? Find out which is best for your family, SUVs or Minivans.

The Safest SUV (2013)

White Buick EnclaveThe SUV category was divided into 3 subcategories: small, midsize, and large. For the large SUV category, the 2013 Buick Enclave topped the list of safest cars for receiving the IIHS’ Top Pick Safety Award. It received a top rating in all crash test categories and the 2013 Enclave featured a new mid-dash airbag designed to protect the driver and front row passenger in the event of a far-side impact.

The mid-sized SUV category was stacked. A large number of these SUVs received top ratings in 2013 which made our decision very difficult. We decided to split it into foreign and domestic to further narrow the results. The Ford Flex took the top spot in the US domestic market. The Ford Flex appeared to be the best option since it had superior safety ratings and also included many additional options and features.

The safest car in the import category of the mid-sized SUV lot was the Hyundai Santa Fe. Ever since this SUV hit the market, it’s been a top pick. U.S. News and Rankings gave the Hyundai Santa Fe a perfect 10 out of 10 for safety and the midsized SUV also made the IIHS Top Safety Picks list. This, combined with the famed Hyundai 10 year warranty, make it an excellent choice for car buyers and one of the safest cars of 2013.

The 2013 Mitsubishi Sport was one of the safest cars we reviewed in the small SUV category. In addition to the now-standard anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, the 2013 Mitsubishi Sport added new smart safety features that helped it take the lead. A driver-side knee protection airbag was implemented to protect the driver from common knee injuries in a crash and a special sensor was added that will deploy the side curtain airbags in the event of an impending roll-over.

The Safest Pickup Truck (2013)

chevy silverado 2013 safest carsThe safest pickup truck in the domestic category was the Chevrolet Silverado. Features such as trailer sway control and hill-start assist were added bonuses, but the Chevrolet Silverado was a safest car pick for 2013 because of its top safety ratings from both IIHS and NHTSA.

For the safest import pickup truck, the Honda Ridgeline stood out. In addition to its top safety ratings from IIHS and NHTSA, the Honda Ridgeline seemed to take a lot into consideration when placing the airbags. The most notable safety feature in the 2013 Honda Ridgeline was the seat-mounted torso airbags that are set to deploy, along with the side-curtain airbags, in the event of a rollover. Fortunately, the Ridgeline comes with electronic stability control and a rollover sensor.

Want to know if you have the safest car?

Regardless of what year your car is, you can find the vehicle safety rating information and crash test results on theIIHS website or on the NHTSA website. All you have to do is input your vehicle’s make, model, and year (though it helps if you know the trim level) to find out if you have one of the safest cars on the road or a car that isn’t safe at all.

Car Comparison Guide

Buying a new car isn’t easy. Make sure to get all the facts before you make a decision. Our Car Comparison Guide will lay it all out for you – best trucks, best cars, best SUVs, all at a price you can afford.

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