17 Safest Cars of 2018

Kia Optima
1 of 20

These Cars Boast a Perfect 10 U.S. News Safety Score

Safety is among the top priorities of most car shoppers. Of course, price, features, visual appeal, performance, and reliability are all important when shopping for a new car (and important in U.S. News Best Cars rankings), but if it’s not going to keep you and your family safe, that’s a substantial concern.

In tabulating U.S. News safety scores, we include crash test data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is funded by the federal government, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which is funded by insurance companies.

The NHTSA administers three crash tests, including frontal, side, and rollover. Each is rated on a five-star scale, which leads to an overall rating.

The IIHS performs five or more crash tests, advanced safety system assessments, and headlight tests. Its scores are Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor. The IIHS designates the best performers as Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ recipients. According to the IIHS:

“To qualify for 2018 Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It also must earn an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and an acceptable or good headlight rating.”

To move up into the 2018 Top Safety Pick+ club, a vehicle must live up to all the above criteria. However, only a headlight rating of Good will suffice.

Remember that U.S. News scores adjust often as new expert reviews and data become available. So, the scores in this slideshow may not match those in our vehicle reviews. Check out our rankings for up-to-date information on safety.

Continue reading to learn about cars with a perfect 10 U.S. News safety score, including information about their performance in NHTSA and IIHS crash testing, and each vehicle’s standard and available safety technologies.