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Safest 2014-2015 Sedans for your Family:

Update: Here are the 2016 winners for Safest Family Sedan

In Part I, we awarded the safest 3-row vehicles.  In Part II, we awarded 5-passenger SUVs.  In this part, we will look at sedans that have great safety and also typically better fuel economy than sport utility vehicles.

As with the SUVs and minivans, we have similar basic requirements to trim the long list of very safe vehicles to a select few vehicles that stand out from the pack:

  • Must be an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2014 or 2015
  • Must have an NHTSA 5-star overall rating
  • Must not have any individual NHTSA crash test results of 3-stars or less
  • Must be over 3000 lbs. curb weight

The finalists below are among the safest sedans on the road.  Many other very safe models just barely missed the list for one reason or another, or simply lacked a complete set of testing results.  Models designated with an asterisk (*) have an optional autobrake front crash prevention system and earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award for 2015.  The IIHS made some changes to it’s award system for 2015.

  • 2014-2015 Chevrolet Volt
  • 2015 Subaru Impreza/XV*
  • 2014-2015 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2015 Chrysler 200 (updated)*
  • 2014-2015 Honda Accord
  • 2015 Hyundai Genesis (all new)*
  • 2104-2015 Mazda 6*
  • 2015 Subaru Legacy (all new)*
  • 2015 Toyota Camry (refreshed)*
  • 2015 Volkswagen Jetta
  • 2015 Audi A3*
  • 2014-2015 Volvo S60*
  • 2014-2015 Infiniti Q70*

Selecting the winners wasn’t too difficult.  Perfection was the key.  The very safest sedans earned the top “Good” rating in every IIHS crash test, every single sub-category rating and earned the top “Superior” frontal crash prevention rating by avoiding crashes in high and low speed testing.  They also earned a 5-star overall rating from the NHTSA and 5-stars in all five individual crash test ratings plus a 5-star rollover rating.  Only two sedans made this very difficult cut to become our winners:

Safest sedans for 2015 (Tie):

2015 Hyundai Genesis.  Looking for luxury?  You may not think to look at a Hyundai, but you’d be wise to do so.  The new Genesis excelled at every test from the IIHS and NHTSA, something none of its luxury competitors could match.  It’s one of a handful of vehicles to earn all 6 points in the Front crash prevention test from the IIHS.  You must opt for the Tech Package to get this rating, driving the cost to over $46,000.  It’s also an excellent upscale sedan overall, receiving accolades from many automobile and consumer publications.

2015 Subaru Legacy.  Significantly improved for 2015 to compete with the best of the affordable midsize sedans.  To get the Top Safety Pick+ rating, you must add the optional EyeSight system.  Fortunately, Subaru allows this on the 2.5i Premium trim.  For around $25,000, you can get a full array of advanced safety features that, like the Genesis, earn it the highest possible “Superior” rating of 6-points by the IIHS in their front crash prevention tests.  Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and a backup camera are standard on all trim levels.  Plus, you get their excellent AWD system standard along with good fuel economy.

Runner-Up:

2015 Chrysler 200.  Also a perfect set of IIHS crash test ratings, but fell just short of the winners with an excellent 5-point “Superior” result in the IIHS front crash prevention test, avoiding a crash in one of the two tests.  The 200 also earned a perfect set of NHTSA crash test results, though even with a very low 10.7% rollover risk it barely missed a 5-star rollover rating.  Unfortunately, the SafetyTec package that must be equipped to earn that IIHS rating is optional only on the top 200C trim level and is bundled with the navigation and lighting packages, driving the price up to just over $30,000 MSRP.  It’s a shame that Chrysler made some nice updates in the safety department for 2015, but didn’t make SafetyTec and its great array of crash avoidance features as a stand-alone option on lower trim levels.  AWD is optional on the 200C as well, driving the price to roughly $35,000 MSRP with SafetyTec.

SafeDad writes about automobiles, carseats and traffic safety issues at CarseatBlog