In a world obsessed with fast cars and adrenaline rushes, safety is often left at the side of the road. But, as we all know, safety on the road is absolutely paramount and, inevitably, car companies have endeavored to manufacture some of the most protective cars ever in recent years, through intensified crash-tests and advancements in technology. After all, safer cars mean cheaper car insurance. We take a look at five of them here:
The IIHS, as Hyundai proudly proclaim on their website, awarded the Sonata the ‘Top Pick’ award for safety recently. It performed impressively in terms of crumple zones at both the front and rear of the vehicle and has Electronic Stability Control, which applies intelligent braking to individual wheels on corners. This carries over into emergency braking too, since the car detects when the driver brakes hard and applies sufficient pressure to ensure that the stopping distance is kept to a minimum.
The fact that this compact car has sold so many units is a real testament to its overall safety level and reliability. A significant amount of its appeal likely comes from the fact that it is in the lower band of car insurance groups, but it has great safety features like the anti-lock brakes and full standard airbags – driver, front-side, passenger and side head curtain. Admittedly, the sedan performed better in crash-tests than the coupe did, but the Civic achieved a good overall safety rating for features such as the minimization of potential pedestrian injury by building a more malleable hood and set of windscreen wipers.
Volvo is famous for the safety of its cars and the XC60 continues to live up to that reputation. It packs a side-impact protection system, dynamic stability and traction control, and a whiplash protection feature. Moreover, it has a laser-powered City Safety System installed to anticipate accidents at less than 30 km/h, that forewarn drivers of them and prepare the car for braking.
This mini-car passed the IIHS frontal offset crash-test with flying colors, which is no surprise considering that the majority of its body is made from high-strength or ultra-high strength steel. As a result, the survival space for the driver – after a 40mph crash into a wall – was kept in a more than acceptable state. It is also one of the highest-rated vehicles in terms of roof-safety, according to the IIHS. It is popular among youngsters and first-time drivers not only because it’s an affordable mini-car, but also because it keeps the cost of student car insurance at reasonable levels.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
There is always a place for a Jeep on car safety lists. The Grand Cherokee is a sturdy, durable and altogether reliable machine with a ‘Top Safety Pick’ award to its name in 2011. Ranking consistently at the top with the IIHS and the NHTSA, having gained five out of five stars in most categories, it is the ultimate vehicle for on- and off-road safety. A total of 45 safety features, including rain brake support and an enhanced accident response system, keep occupants comfortably protected at all times.