The 13 safest cars for 2013


January 4, 2013

The 2013 Kia Optima is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+

The 2013 Kia Optima is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released its list of safest vehicles for the 2013 model year. In all, the list includes 117 cars that were awarded a Top Safety Pick. Thirteen cars were given the Top Safety Pick+ award, which is an even higher award for vehicle safety. These vehicles go deeper to bring a safer ride to drivers and passengers, and we're going to take a quick look at each one.

Honda Accord 2-door

Honda's Accord is almost always given top honors for safety, and this year is no exception. The 2-door model provides a sportier look, but still maintains a high level of safety.

Honda Accord 4-door

The 4-door version of the Honda Accord has received the same honors as its sportier 2-door brethren. Families looking for easier access to the rear seats can still expect the high level of safety from this version of Honda's popular sedan.

Chrysler 200 4-door

Chrysler first introduced the 200 sedan during the 2011 model year, and its sales have been slowly improving each year. It is designed to offer a scaled down version of Chrysler's flagship 300 sedan, but it doesn't scrimp on safety.

Dodge Avenger

The Dodge Avenger was reintroduced to the North American market in 2008 after an eight-year hiatus. The front-wheel drive sedan has seen a huge improvement in sales in 2012, and the safety rating of its 2013 model should certainly help that number improve even more going forward.

Ford Fusion built after Dec. 2012

The Ford Fusion entered into its second generation for the 2013 model year. As one of Ford's more successful vehicles, this will only go on to help it take hold of the U.S. market. After a rocky road for Ford a few years back, it seems the company is back on track, and another award on the shelf is always a good thing.

Kia Optima

In 2011, Kia gave the Optima a major visual overhaul, and it certainly looks a lot more stylish than previous model years. For 2013, Kia added a few safety improvements, and the IIHS has taken notice, offering the Optima its highest honor for vehicle safety.

Nissan Altima 4-door built after Nov. 2012

The Nissan Altima has been a staple of mid-size sedans since the 90s, and it shows no signs of slowing. For the 2013 model, Nissan launched into a new generation, and besides style and performance, Nissan made some notable safety improvements that the IIHS has clearly noticed.

Suzuki Kizashi

While the Suzuki Kizashi may have been killed off in November of 2012 in the U.S., that doesn't mean it's still not a safe, well-designed vehicle. Even though it's not for sale anymore, at least owners of the car know that they are in for a safe ride.

Subaru Legacy built after Aug. 2012

The Legacy has not seen a major redesign in North America since the 2010 model year. However, small improvements have come with each year, and for the 2013 model, Subaru revisited the suspensions and CVT transmission and made some small tweaks to the safety features.

Subaru Outback built after Aug. 2012

The Outback is built on the Legacy platform, so it's no surprise that it made the list as well. For drivers looking for a safe vehicle in wagon form, the Outback might be the way to go.

Acura TL

The Acura TL is one of the few luxury sedans to make the list. It offers top safety features along with much of the luxury and performance buyers expect for the higher price tag. It's no surprise that it's on the list, since it's built by the same people responsible for the Honda Accord.

Volvo S60

The entire basis for Volvo's marketing campaign in the U.S. is its safety record. Well, the company has another trophy to hang its hat on, as the IIHF has included it in the exclusive list of 13 cars with a top safety rating.

Volkswagen Passat built after Oct. 2012

Volkswagen is the final company to have a vehicle make the list. The Passat is another midsize sedan, which seems to be the trend for the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.

In all, Japan had the most cars given the award with a total of seven vehicles listed. The U.S. comes in second with three cars given the top honor. Germany, Sweden, and Korea all have one vehicle listed by the IIHS for the Top Safety Pick+ award.

Source: IIHS

About the Author
Dave LeClair Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie. All articles by Dave LeClair

With the internet you would think that some model cars would not sell at all. Cars like these should be flying off the lot. But many people still buy base on what their parents liked; what they have bought before and what the sales guy says.....

I'm really glad to see Ford remove its head from the sand so successfully. The Fusion looks like something I'd actually want to own. I drive a v6 "sport sedan" with a manual transmission and I rented a 4cl fusion for a week with a 4cl EcoBoost (code name for turbo charger) and I was impressed with the power it made when I needed more go-faster.

The 2.0 EcoBoost makes 270 lbs of torque and gets 33 MPG highway. It is impressive if not overkill for most people.


No thanks. I'll keep my 2.5tonne 4x4 landcruiser. Smash into me all you like in you 900kg "safe" sedan, and lets see who gets hurt more.

Seriously - safety test data includes injury to others (besides the people in your car), so large 4x4 always score badly, even in tests/accidents where those occupants are unharmed. They do not publish actual test data; so you cannot work out what's safe FOR-YOU (only overall safety), and I actually spent several months trying to convince the Australian Government to supply me with real road-crash injury data (to conclusively work out if there's a 4x4 advantage), but "due to privacy blah blah", they never let you see it. The best you will ever get, is someone else spin on "the data", and no way to verify anything they say.


@christopher, none of these cars weigh less than 1 tonne. In fact I think you'll find most of them weigh about 1.6 tonnes. Sure you might feel safe in a landcruiser, and you probably are as safe if it's a newer one, but wagons have a tendency to rollover (you can't control what happens after someone clips you from the side), and that's never a good thing, even worse when your A, B, and C pillars are long, and those pillars have to support a lot of weight. In the real world where insurance can sort you out a new car, I'd rather have a crash in a car that's built around real-world roads and real-world crashes.

Shaun Young

We bought the 2012 Optima and like it a lot. Tracks well, plenty of pep (6-speed trans always selects the right gear ratio) and very sure footed. The sum of cost of ownership, performance and safety means that we're never going back to our German sport sedans. Sure BMW and Mercedes may have more carefully crafted leather seats and somewhat more refined power plants (if you want to compare a 200hp 2.4 liter engine to a German 6 or 8) but, in all honesty, that's about it...and the gas mileage differential is the icing on the cake.

The Optima stops like someone threw out an anchor and, now that we're spoiled, I'll admit that my favorite feature is the heated steering wheel...never realized that my perpetually frozen hands were going to be saved from arthritis by a car....


@ Shaun what you say makes a lot of sense in Europe but I have to agree with Christopher. In our country, South Africa most deaths are caused by the partially head-on collision - most probably with a mini-taxi. In that scenario I also do not want to be in a little car.

In Europe, any form of bumper that may lead to more injury to pedestrians or "the other vehicle" are prohibited. Here in South Africa and Australia alike it is not the case. Hitting a raised 4x4 from the front in a Honda Accord will be fatal for the Honda occupant as the bumper height on a typical raised 4x4 is above the bonnet of the average sedan. Here the most common accident leading to fatalities is the partial head-on collision and most probably the other vehicle will be a mini taxi. In that scenario I will chose my 2 tonnes + LUV with ARB bumper above the Honda or any of the other "safe" sedans. The roll-over possibility of a 4x4 is true yes, but it is the responsibility of the driver to sort that out by reducing speed.

Emile Viljoen

Personally I still think Saabs were one of the safest - shame they aren't being made anymore. This man credits his Vovlo for saving his life


As I expected Volvo is listed, can you post a list of safest cars in america ? Thanks for sharing your list

Jhigz Snow

List looks better than the 2013 list ( Any idea when the 2014 list is coming out?

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