The 15 Safest Vehicles for 2018

Photo by Money Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Only 15 cars have earned the highest safety rating awarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for 2018. That’s down from 38 vehicles for 2017.

The nonprofit IIHS strengthened its requirements for the recently announced 2018 awards.

To earn IIHS’ highest rating — Top Safety Pick+ — a vehicle now must have what the institute considers:

  • “Good” headlights
  • “Good” or “acceptable” passenger-side protection in small-overlap front crashes

Small-overlap crashes, as defined by IIHS, “involve just the front corner of the vehicle, bypassing the main structural components.”

IIHS started rating vehicles for driver-side protection in small-overlap crashes in 2012. But this is the first year that passenger-side protection in such crashes has been required to earn an IIHS award.

Adrian Lund, IIHS president, says:

“Drivers expect that their passengers, who are often family, will be protected just as well as they are. Manufacturers have been taking this issue seriously since we first shed light on it, and we’re confident that good small-overlap protection will become the norm on the passenger side, just as it has on the driver side.”

As for headlights, the institute’s track tests measure how well both low and high beams illuminate the road ahead, as well as the amount of glare they produce for drivers of oncoming cars.

Previously, a vehicle with “acceptable” or “good” headlights could earn the Top Safety Pick+ award. For 2018, a “good” headlight rating was required.

The 15 vehicles that earned IIHS’ top honor for 2018 are:

  • Kia Forte sedan (small car)
  • Kia Soul (small car)
  • Subaru Impreza four-door sedan and four-door wagon (small car)
  • Subaru WRX (small car)
  • Subaru Legacy (midsize car)
  • Subaru Outback (midsize car)
  • Toyota Camry (midsize car)
  • BMW 5 series (large luxury car)
  • Genesis G80 (large luxury car)
  • Genesis G90 (large luxury car)
  • Lincoln Continental (large luxury car)
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan (large luxury car)
  • Hyundai Santa Fe (midsize SUV)
  • Hyundai Santa Fe Sport (midsize SUV)
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC (midsize luxury SUV)

These are all 2018 model-year vehicles. If you are in the market for a used car — which we recommend — you can view past winners of IIHS awards on the institute’s “Top Safety Picks by year” page.

IIHS notes that two auto manufacturers dominated the 2018 Top Safety Pick+ award: Hyundai Motor Co. makes six of the vehicles listed above and Subaru makes four of them.

Hyundai Motor Co. manufacturers the Hyundai brand as well as the Kia and Genesis brands.

For more tips on car shopping and saving money on car costs, check out Money Talks News’ autos webpage.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Ways to Shop at Costco Without a Membership
7 Ways to Shop at Costco Without a Membership

You don’t necessarily need to join to get in on the warehouse store’s savings.

9 Hidden Ways to Get More Out of Amazon
9 Hidden Ways to Get More Out of Amazon

You don’t have to be a Prime member to take advantage of these little-known perks of shopping on Amazon.

10 Colleges That Offer Free Tuition for Seniors
10 Colleges That Offer Free Tuition for Seniors

These schools let retirement-age students study, tuition-free, while earning college credit.

5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

7 Other Retailers With Free Prescription Delivery
7 Other Retailers With Free Prescription Delivery

Amazon’s new pharmacy is hardly the first to offer free shipping.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

This Simple Mistake Might Weaken Your COVID-19 Vaccination
This Simple Mistake Might Weaken Your COVID-19 Vaccination

Avoid doing this before you get vaccinated.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car
9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car

Thinking of leaving these possessions in a car? Prepare for unexpected consequences.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day
29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day

Sometimes, you’ve got to spend to save.

7 Things I Never Buy at Costco
7 Things I Never Buy at Costco

A bulk buy isn’t always the best buy.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.