Safest cars for teenage drivers in 2018-19 in USA
Modern cars are safer than ever but the truth is that we are never completely protected on the road. Driving in a careful, measured manner will decrease your probabilities of an accident, but there’s never any telling as to what other road users will do and, though it’s a terrifying thought, it pays to be ready for the worst on the road.
On the positive side, today’s cars are better prepared to handle and even dodge accidents than models from years gone by. Features such as anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability programmes (ESP) and ISOFIX child-seat mounts are now compulsory equipment for new cars. Other technologies such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane-departure warning systems are not legal requirements, but they are becoming more and more public.
The way to measure a car’s security is dictated by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP). The independent organization performs crash tests on the vast majority of cars sold in the UK and Europe, and each test scores cars in four different areas: adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and safety assistance – and the final category covers techniques such as AEB and lane-departure cautionary systems.
Throughout the test authorities give the car a percentage score for each of those four areas, which then dictates its complete score out of five. All of the models in our list of safest cars below have the highest possible five-star rating, but we have also mediated their safety credentials by looking at the adult occupant percentage score.
Euro NCAP’s tests advance and become stricter over time, so we’re only observing at cars that were tested in 2016 and in the first half of 2017. Older vehicles may still have high scores, but it’s worth recalling that a five-star rating from five or 10 years ago is not the same as today’s equivalent. Our explanation of the Euro NCAP crash test enlightens everything in detail.
1. Volvo XC60 – Feel the real power!
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The Volvo XC60 claims the highest adult occupancy safety score of any car tested by Euro NCAP in 2017, with a near-perfect 98%. While this is a fantastic outcome on its own, a 95% score was also awarded for the Swedish SUV’s long list of security assistance technology. Not only is autonomous emergency assistance fitted as standard, but Volvo offers a ‘steer assist‘ system, too – this automatically helps steer around obstacles identified in the car’s path. The technology is also employed as part of an ‘oncoming lane mitigation’ system, which detects approaching vehicles and can steer you back into the lane if a potential head-on collision is identified.
The optional ‘Intellisafe Pro’ system, meanwhile, combines these systems and additional sensors to support a semi-autonomous driving system that can efficiently drive the XC60 at speeds of up to 80mph, while the system cannot execute lane changes. This technology does much to reduce driver exhaustion and adds to the XC60’s reputation as one of the most sensible family cars money can buy.
2. Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV – Performance at its best!
The Stelvio marks Alfa Romeo’s first foray into the SUV market and all signs are that the famous Italian marque hasn’t left anything to chance when it comes to guaranteeing the safety of Stelvio passengers. Euro NCAP gave the muscular SUV a five-star rating, with an outstanding 97% score for adult occupant protection and very impressive 84% for protection of younger passengers. Pedestrian protection was rated at 71%, while the car received a 60% score for its safety assistance systems. Autonomous emergency braking is a usual feature across the range and you can programme a speed limit into the cruise control system, although Euro NCAP found this difficult to use. Lane-departure warning is also standard.
3. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SUV – Inspired by Innovation!
Based on the same powered foundations as the popular Mitsubishi Outlander SUV, Mitsubishi’s stylish rival to the Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008 was always bound to be a safe car to travel in, yet few could have predicted it would surpass the standards of its forebears by quite such a margin. Indeed, its 97% Euro NCAP score for adult occupancy safety was among the very best award in 2017 and makes it one of the very safest cars you can buy. On top of the way the Eclipse Cross looks after its occupants in a crash, there’s also a long list of equipment intended to diminish the possibility of this happening in the first place.
Autonomous emergency braking (or Forward Collision Mitigation in Mitsubishi-speak) is standard, as is the lane-departure warning, while top models offer blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control if you choose an automatic gearbox. It’s not the sharpest car to drive, though, as well as being a little short on rear-seat space, but a young family will find the Eclipse Cross a very attractive proposition.
4. Volkswagen Polo – Power, on command!
Volkswagen is a brand usually related with very high quality, but it’s not only the most exclusive models that can claim a hewn-from-granite feel. This unburstable build is as true of the big-selling VW Polo supermini as it is the much greater than Passat, and the sheer strength of this German rival to the Ford Fiesta helped it deliver a 96% Euro NCAP score for adult occupancy safety. This means mature passengers have a better-than-average chance of walking away from a crash unharmed, while the risk of the worst happening is reduced by an autonomous emergency braking system that’s fitted as standard across the range. You can boost the Polo’s security with a number of optional features, too – blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and active cruise control can all be added. The latter includes a stop-and-go function on cars with a DSG automatic gearbox, which helps in heavy traffic.
5. Mazda CX-5 SUV- Zoom Zoom!
The Mazda CX-5 is the largest SUV offered in the UK by the Japanese company, and one that Car buyer holds in high respect. Not least, we love how the CX-5 drives: it somehow feels agiler than you’d imagine and doesn’t drive like an SUV at all. Not only that, but its stylish, curvy design is a far cry from certain bulkier members of the class. However, while style is subjective, safety isn’t, and the CX-5’s 96% Euro NCAP adult occupancy safety rating is remarkable indeed, while there’s enough crash-avoidance technology provided to minimize the chance of an impact in the first place. Every version has autonomous emergency braking, while Sport Nav models can be armed with a package that includes blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assistance, as well as extending the autonomous emergency braking to work when reversing, too.
6. Toyota C – Let’s Go Places
The Toyota C-HR crossover is thoroughly modern – it’s futuristically styled, is available as a hybrid and is very safe indeed. Euro NCAP awarded it the full five-star rating, with an impressive 95% rating for adult occupants and 77% for child occupants, as well as 76% for pedestrians and 78% for safety assistance. The C-HR comes with Toyota’s Safety Sense pack as standard, which includes adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, pedestrian detection and lane-departure warning, plus others. Standard road-sign recognition – along with optional rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring – help to make sure you always have the information you need to avoid an accident.
7. SEAT – Born Tough
One of several compact SUVs to be introduced by the Volkswagen Group during 2017, the SEAT Arona has a lot going for it as a domestic car for those with a taste for adventure. Although not yet offered with four-wheel drive, its tall stance, jagged wheel arch and sill cladding and silver roof rails lend real visual appeal, while every model is well equipped, and built to the ethics that have come to be expected of VW Group cars. Safety is another big Arona selling point, with a 95% Euro NCAP adult occupancy protection score. This means a good chance of walking away unharmed should your Arona be involved in a crash, but cutting-edge safety technology such as autonomous emergency braking minimizes the probability of this happening. There’s also a lane-departure warning and driver drowsiness monitoring, while rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring are on the decisions list. While the SEAT Ibiza supermini on which the Arona based is also a very safe car, the attention-grabbing SUV is debatably an even more attractive package.