Car Lists

Top Safety Pick+ Winners: Safe Subcompact and Compact Cars

Some of the Safest Small Cars Available in the North America.

Some of the Safest Small Cars Available in the North America.

Subcompact and compact cars are safer than ever, no longer the penalty boxes they once were. The average American consumer believes that driving a full-size sedan or hulking SUV means they’ll be safer than in a smaller vehicle; however, that’s no longer the case. Small cars now feature stronger bodies and can protect you better in an accident. You don’t have to sacrifice safety just because you refuse to drive anything larger than a compact car.

Honda Civic

After an extensive redesign, the 2016 Honda Civic is the new compact car benchmark, and when it comes to safety, it doesn’t skimp. In addition to earning a Good score on all crash tests, the Civic’s available Honda Sensing active safety suite helped it earn the highest score of Superior in front crash prevention evaluations. (Good and Superior are the highest ratings on IIHS crash and crash prevention tests, respectively.)

Subaru Impreza/WRX

Even though an all-new model is slated to arrive before the end of 2016, the current-generation Subaru Impreza and its WRX performance variant are some of the safest compact cars available. Both earned Good on all crash tests, and when equipped with the EyeSight active safety suite, they offer excellent front crash prevention systems.

Toyota Prius

The 2016 Toyota Prius offers exceptional fuel economy in a compact package with a high level of safety. When equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense P suite of active safety features, the Prius becomes one of the safest hybrids available today.

Nissan Sentra

Refreshed for 2016, the Nissan Sentra received a full suite of active safety features, enabling it to receive a Superior rating in the IIHS’ front crash prevention test. Additionally, the car’s crash performance has improved over the pre-refresh model (a 2015 Sentra is pictured), earning a Good score on all categories.

Acura ILX

Now available with the AcuraWatch Plus suite of active safety systems, the Acura ILX received a Superior rating in the front crash prevention test. The car also offers a high level of passenger protection in the event of a collision; it received a Good score across the board in crash evaluations.

Lexus CT 200h

The Prius’ posh cousin, the Lexus CT 200h, offers an extensive array of safety features that includes front crash prevention when equipped with the Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. In IIHS crash testing, the CT 200h received a Good score on all categories (the pre-refresh model is pictured).

Volkswagen Golf/GTI

For 2016, the Volkswagen Golf family received a major multimedia and safety upgrade with the addition of a new infotainment system and features such as forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. This, along with Good crash test ratings across the board, helped it earn an Advanced score in the IIHS’ front crash prevention test and the Top Safety Pick+ award.

Mazda3

On the S Grand Touring trim of the Mazda3, you can get the Technology package, which adds automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control. These features helped the Mazda3, which received an Advanced score on the IIHS’ front crash prevention test and a Good rating on all of the crash tests, earn a Top Safety Pick+ award.

Mini Hardtop Two-Door

For 2016, the two-door Mini Hardtop received a Good score on all crash tests conducted by the IIHS. The car also got an Advanced rating in the front crash prevention evaluation when equipped with the available Active Driving Assistant, which adds front automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control, allowing it to earn a Top Safety Pick+ award.

Scion iA

Thanks to its Good crash test scores across the board and an Advanced rating for its standard front crash prevention systems, the Scion iA proves you don’t have to pay big bucks for a safe car. When it transitions to the Toyota brand for the 2017 model year, the iA will become part of the Yaris family of subcompact cars.

Audi A3/S3

Audi‘s smallest vehicle, the A3, gets a Good score across the board for crash testing and an Advanced front crash prevention test rating when equipped with the available Technology package. In case you want something more environmentally friendly, there’s the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid hatchback.

Toyota Prius V

In addition to earning a Good score on all crash tests, the Toyota Prius V also received an Advanced rating in the front crash prevention test. It’s also the only car to ace the IIHS’ headlights test with a Good score thanks to its available LED headlights.

Volvo S60/V60

The Volvo S60 and its wagon variant, the V60, offer a dizzying array of safety features and can even brake for pedestrians at city speeds. As expected of cars wearing the Volvo iron mark, both the S60 and V60 earned the highest crash test score of Good across the board and a Superior rating in the front crash prevention evaluation (a 2012 S60 is pictured).

BMW 2 Series

As the smallest BMW coupe available, the 2 Series is one of the cheapest, and it’s also fun to drive. The car received a Good score across the board in crash testing and an Advanced rating for front crash prevention when equipped with the available Active Driving Assistant, alleviating any concerns about safety.

Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen added a host of advanced driver assistance features to the Jetta for 2016. The result? An Advanced rating on the front crash prevention evaluation and Good scores on all crash tests. You’ll be well protected in the unlikely event of an accident.