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A silver 2022 Subaru Forester Touring is shown driving near a lake.

Looking for the Safest Vehicle? You Should Consider These Car Brands!

Not to sound like a pushy timeshare guy, but everything in life is an investment if you think about it. That house you bought? It is an investment for the betterment of your family, a place you can call home. That sweater you bought? It is an investment to keep you warm in the winter so you can keep trucking along. And, of course, the car you buy is an investment in not only yourself but also your family and is a tangible symbol of respect for the road and embracing the responsibilities of life. Whether you are currently in the market for used cars or not, you should read what I have to say because I will direct you toward what are some of the safest car brands on the market. I will consider a few things, including both accolades that brands have won from some of the most noteworthy automotive associations and what these brands offer for all price ranges.

I have looked through what the biggest-brand-named automotive manufacturers have accomplished, and there were some stand-out names: Toyota, Honda, Ford, and Subaru. I don’t believe there is any need to question whether or not you have heard of these brands, but have you ever owned one? There is a chance you may own a vehicle from one of these esteemed manufacturers. However, if your vehicle is an older model, you likely do not have any amenities that have transformed safety in modern-day automobiles. Let’s talk about these five manufacturers in more detail.

Who Are the IIHS?

There is something I want to discuss before moving on to the car brands: the IIHS and their importance in all of this. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has been putting automobiles through all sorts of collision trials since the late 1950s. It is one of the most trusted names in automotive testing. Their accolades are something most manufacturers thrive for because consumers tend to favor the IIHS when attempting to learn accurate and unbiased facts about a manufacturer and how their vehicles hold up in real-world crash tests. The IIHS has two awards they bestow upon vehicles they deem worthy of the titles – the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ – the latter being the better option. Regardless of which of the two awards a manufacturer earns for a particular vehicle, it is an honor, as most cars do not make the chopping block.


Let’s start discussing car brands with the one and only Toyota, one of the most prestigious automotive manufacturers from the Far East. Safety is one of Toyota’s strong suits, but do not take my word for it – take the word of the IIHS. IIHS has recognized Toyota to a tremendous extent over the years. Still, recently, the 2022 model year was a fantastic year for the manufacturer if the IIHS has anything to say about it.

Starting with the Top Safety Pick+ award, the 2022 Toyota Corolla, GR86, Camry, Corolla Cross, RAV4 Prime, Highlander, Sienna, and Tundra all received the award. Eight vehicles winning the best award from the IIHS in one year? That’s no joke. As for the Top Safety Pick award, the 2022 Avalon, C-HR, Venza, and RAV4 all won that award – the 2023 RAV4 would then win the Top Safety Pick+ award. In total, that is twelve vehicles given awards by the IIHS. Of course, Toyota has a bustling lineup – more than most other manufacturers – but it is still an impressive accomplishment.

Toyota also offers many advanced safety features spread through four safety packages: TSS 3.0, TSS 2.5 & 2.5+, TSS 2.0, and TSS-P. Each safety suite adds more features than the last, but if your used Toyota is recent enough, there is a strong chance it will come with nothing less than TSS-P. TSS-P makes cost-effective Toyota vehicles safer, as this safety suite is responsible for adding Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection.

One of the safest used cars, a blue 2022 Toyota Corolla, is shown driving near a motel.


Honda is celebrated for reliability, which includes both safety features and the longevity of its vehicles. In regards to reliability, I have a friend who drove a 1993 Honda Accord until 2017, and the vehicle was not unusable by the time he offloaded it either. This same friend works at an automotive dealership for a specific brand that is not Honda, and he still bought another Honda Accord because he was so impressed with its reliability. However, as I said, reliability is not only about how long your vehicle runs. Nowadays, a large part of automotive commentary has shifted to what your vehicle can do to protect you when driving it.

Before I talk about Honda Sensing, seven Honda vehicles received awards from the IIHS – six Top Safety Pick+ awards and one Top Safety Pick. This is the same amount as Ford for the 2022 model year, but in the preceding years, Honda had Ford beat in the eyes of the IIHS. For example, the 2020 model year saw Honda receive awards for eight separate vehicles, while Ford only received three. Ford is another tremendously reliable brand, so Honda winning these awards is great for the Japanese manufacturer.

Honda Sensing plays a large role in why Honda vehicles are so desirable. Most Honda vehicles come with Honda Sensing, which has been that way for years. You will get the Honda Sensing safety suite if you buy a used Honda, such as a 2017 Accord, 2018 Civic, etc. Many of these features come standard, so you will never pay extra for features like the Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, and more.

A blue 2017 Honda Accord is shown driving on a road near a fence.


Subaru deserves a mention here because, given how this list has gone, Subaru does many of these things better. There are two reasons why Subaru is a reliable brand – sometimes more so than other manufacturers. One reason is a lineup built with a mutual sweet spot for reliability, which the IIHS has proven. Subaru’s lineup is not as vast as Toyota’s, but even the eight Toyota models that earned an IIHS award in 2022 are outmatched by the nine that Subaru earned – seven of which were Top Safety Pick+ awards. This is not a one-time thing either – Subaru also earned nine IIHS awards for the 2020 model year, when Ford only earned three, as you recall.

What makes Subaru an intriguing sell to me is the Eyesight Driver Assist Technology, which is Subaru’s take on the safety suites I have already told you a bit about, such as Honda Sensing and Toyota Safety Sense. The Eyesight Driver Assist Technology suite has features you would expect to find, such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, and Pre-Collision Braking, but it has much more. Along with Adaptive Cruise Control, Subaru’s Eyesight Driver Assist Technology offers Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control, which adds the bonus of pre-selecting how far you wish to remain behind a vehicle behind you, rather than the car deciding based on the flow of traffic. Pre-Collision Throttle Management means that not only will the brakes be applied to prevent or reduce the severity of a front-facing impact, but the engine will lose some of its power instantly, which can also help tremendously when in tandem with the force applied to the brakes.

Making the Safe Choice

Toyota, Honda, and Subaru are three brands well revered for their dedication to the safety of yourself, your family, and those around you, whether they be in another vehicle on the road or as a pedestrian on the crosswalk. There can never be enough safety measures when talking about the well-being of yourself and others, so it is great to see that these three manufacturers have done wonders to make driving safer than ever. There is plenty of competition out there, and you may have heard some great things about other brands, but these three are worth looking into if you are starting or already shopping for a new vehicle.