Car Guide Safest Cars Brands on the Road in 2019 2

Who remembers riding around in their parent’s vehicle as a small child? You may recall the days when seatbelts were optional. When airbags malfunctioned more often than they worked. And when car seats merely sat in the seat with no restraints whatsoever. In today’s car manufacturing world, safety is king. And we’re lucky enough to drive some of the safest vehicles to ever grace the roads. 

Car Guide Safest Cars Brands on the Road in 2019 1

If you’re in the market for a new car, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll give you the scoop on the safest car brands available in 2019.

Define “Safe Cars”

If you want to avoid having to find a car accident lawyer, you’ll want to look for the safest cars around. But who defines what is and isn’t “safe”? 

The answer to that is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS. This is a non-profit, funded by insurance companies.

They purchase vehicles from dealerships just like you would. Then they perform a series of tests on each car and rate their performance. The safety tests are:

  • Head restraints and seats
  • Frontal overlap crash tests (driver side, passenger side, and moderate)
  • Side crash tests
  • Roof strength
  • Headlight strength

Every year, the IIHS releases its list of the safest cars based on these factors. Their list includes two tiers with the highest ranking vehicles making the first tier. And the second tier including cars that fall just short of their top tier counterparts. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into the car brands who had the most vehicles rank in this list. 


Subaru had a whopping seven vehicles show up in the top tier of the IIHS safety list. And one vehicle, the Forrester, made the second tier. 

This brand is particularly adept at creating safe cars in the small car category. They had four show up here. These cars included the Crosstrek, the Impreza (sedan and wagon) and the WRX. 

If you’re looking for a larger car, the Subaru Legacy offers you a sleek design, similar to a Toyota. And the Subaru Outback is the ultimate 4-door hatchback wagon. 

Subaru also offers a mid-size SUV called the Ascent that made the top safety list. This vehicle features plenty of space with a third-row seat. 

Hyundai Motor Co (Hyundai, Kia, Genesis)

The Hyundai Motor Company really does a great job with safety. Technically, they outrank Subaru because they manufacture three brands: Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis.

The three brands combined had 12 cars make the top tier in almost every category. And they had another nine make the second tier list. Hello, safe vehicles!

Kia had three cars appear in the small car category with the Forte and the Niro Hybrid (plug-in and traditional). The Kia Optima is one of the four midsize car options. And the Kia Sorento appeared in the midsize SUV category. 

Hyundai, the core brand of the Hyundai Motor Co, had plenty of its own vehicles rank in the highest safety categories. The Hyundai Sonata is one of the most popular vehicles on the market. And it consistently ranks high in the midsize car category. 

The Hyundai Elantra ranked high as a small car. As a midsize SUV, the Santa Fe ranked in the top tier. And the Kona, a newer model of Hyundai, scored a top spot in the small SUV category. 

Hyundai also has a line of luxury vehicles called Genesis. Genesis made the list with three models in the midsize and large luxury car categories. 


Speaking of luxury, Mercedes-Benz had cars rank in all categories for luxury vehicles. If you’re looking for a larger SUV, the GLC and GLE-Class both ranked in the top tier. 

The E-Class 4-door sedan was one of the top vehicles in the large luxury car category. And the C-Class 4-door sedan ranked in the second tier for midsize luxury cars. 


Toyota had a mixed bag of cars make the two IIHS lists. The Avalon and the Camry ranked in the highest tier in midsize and large car categories. 

The Corolla 4-door hatchback was one of the runner-ups for safe small cars. And the Highlander made the second tier for midsize SUVs. 

Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, did make the list as well. The Lexus ES ranked as one of the safest midsize luxury cars. 


Honda didn’t fare quite as well as the car brands we’ve already discussed. This brand only had one car make the top safety tier. That was the Honda Insight, a small, 4-door sedan. 

The Honda Accord is one of the most popular vehicles ever made. No worries, the Accord did make the second tier list as one of the runnerup midsize cars. 

Honda also had a couple of SUVs rank in the second tier safety ratings. The CR-V is a popular small SUV. And the Pilot made the list for midsize SUVs. 

Another notable category in the IIHS list was the minivan category. Surprisingly, no minivans made it into the top tier safety ratings. But two made it into the second tier. 

The Honda Odyssey and the Chrysler Pacifica were the only two minivans to rank in the list. Note, the Chrysler is the only American-made vehicle that IIHS deemed high enough in safety standards. 


Nissan had no cars in the top tier but did make the second tier three times. The Pathfinder is a popular midsize SUV. And it met the safety standards of a second tier vehicle. 

The Altima, another popular midsize car, made the list too. Along with the Kicks, a newer entry into the small car category. The Kicks is a small, 4-door hatchback with an incredibly sleek design. 

Other Notable Brands

If you’re looking for luxury, BMW and Audi each had several entrants in the luxury categories. Mazda made the cut in both SUV categories with the CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9 vehicles. And Mitsubishi’s Outlander ranked in the second tier of small SUVs. 

Stick with the Safest Car Brands 

If you’re shopping for a new car, you can’t go wrong with one of the safest car brands detailed on this list. There’s something for everyone here.

From large, luxury SUVs to compact cars. You’ll find the safety you need in the package you love!

Looking for more guides to help you shop for vehicles? Check out the Cars category on our website for more helpful articles.