Car safety has come a long way. It took a little while for seat belts and windshields to catch on, and even longer for things like airbags, ABS, crumple zones, and traction control as well. Today we have cars equipped with all kinds of interesting technology, like sensors to detect other cars and even the driver’s own habits to best figure out if they are experiencing fatigue or inattention.
Some of these features are so good, that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has deemed some of them mandatory in order to achieve the Top Safety Pick+ title. Since most of a new car’s depreciation occurs within the first three or so years, we picked five of the ten safest sedans from 2014 that got the highest safety ratings from both the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
First on this list, and the cheapest, is the 2014 Malibu LTZ Sedan, the highest trim available. It’s equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, and decked out with all of the safety features available comes to a cool $15,000.
Fully decked out means it’s got:
Next we have a slightly more expensive car, the 2014 Ford Fusion. It’s also got a four-cylinder engine, but this being the most expensive trim its 2.0-liter engine is a hybrid. The Ford has pretty much the same safety features as the Chevrolet, except it has something extra, what’s called the Hill Start Assist Control. It’s a clever system, where if you’re stopped on a hill, say in a line of cars at a stop sign, when it’s time to move up the hill the assist prevents the car from rolling backwards when you take your foot off of the brakes. Similarly when going downhill, the assist prevents your wheels from locking and causing your car to spin in a circle, and is even designed to work in wet weather. A fully decked out with safety features Ford Fusion goes for around $16,500.
Safety technology seems somewhat less pronounced when it comes to Civics. They have a backup camera, lots of airbags, traction control, ABS, and that’s about it. One thing the Civic does have that the others do not, is what’s called LaneWatch. When you’re in your Civic about to change lanes, you turn your turn indicator on and on a display the car will show you what’s next to you. While it has been thought to be distracting, it is probably safer and takes less time than the old-fashioned looking over the shoulder. A fully equipped 2014 Civic Si runs you about $17,200.
For comfort, reliability, handling, and headlights that are near impossible to change on your own, the Mazda6 does extremely well. In terms of safety, the Mazda is about evenly matched between the Chevrolet and the Ford, where it combines the unique features from the Ford and Chevrolet, those being the hill assist and blind-spot alert. While it is more expensive than both, at about $17,000, the Mazda brand has a better reputation when it comes to reliability and is still valued well.
Of course on this list is the Volvo S60. Sure, it comes with all of those other features already mentioned, but it also did something not all of the others did not. The Volvo S60 got perfect ratings for all of the IIHS safety tests, and five out of five stars for all of the tests run by the NHTSA. Where the other cars did already extremely well, and are certainly perfectly safe for driving families around, the Volvo S60 exceeded the norm. It’s more expensive by a lot than the others, around $22,700, but is there such a thing as too expensive for safety?
Every car produced nowadays must pass rigorous safety standards across the board, so really no matter what car you get it’s going to be safer than anything produced even ten years ago. But if you want the latest in safety technology that goes the extra mile while still managing to be affordable, check out these cars and others that earned top safety ratings.
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