Safest Family Sedans for 2017

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Safest 2017 Cars for Families:

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 overall safety and are also typically less expensive to buy and operate than sport utility vehicles. Like our other safest vehicles lists, you don’t have to click through full page ads or slideshows to see the winners! Unlike lists from websites that don’t have expertise on automobile safety, our criteria to qualify are completely objective and based on safety features and crash test results from BOTH the IIHS and NHTSA.  Plus, we go one step farther and tell you the minimum trim level and cost to get a vehicle that qualifies!  Many auto mags won’t tell you that you some vehicles must be special ordered in the costliest trim level and options packages just to get the necessary safety features for your family!

As with the 5-passenger SUVs, we have similar basic requirements to trim the increasingly long list of very safe vehicles to a select few vehicles that stand out from the pack.  We keep a minimum curb weight requirement, an advantage in head-on frontal crashes.  We also limit qualifiers to midsize or larger vehicles that tend to be wider and offer better compatibility for three children or carseats in the back.  That means a lot of very safe vehicles will just miss the cut!  If your car is not on the list, that doesn’t mean it is unsafe!  Requirements:

200Crash

  • Must be an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2016 or 2017
  • Must have 5-star NHTSA overall/frontal/side ratings for 2017
  • Must be over 3,200 lbs. curb weight (midsize & larger sedans)

The qualifiers below are all 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.  For example, many models dropped out of contention for 2017 because of “Marginal” or “Poor” headlight ratings from the IIHS.  The IIHS made some changes for 2017, requiring a “Good” ratings in all their crash tests and also an “Acceptable” or “Good” headlight rating.  The 2017 finalists for safest family sedan:

  1. 2016-2017 Acura RLX*
  2. 2016 Audi A6*
  3. 2016-2017 Chevrolet Malibu*
  4. 2015-2017 Chrysler 200 2WD*
  5. 2017 Genesis G80
  6. 2016-2017 Hyundai Sonata (built after Oct. 2015)*
  7. 2016_leg_photos_ext_102016-2017 Kia Optima*
  8. 2016-2017 Mazda 6
  9. 2016-2017 Nissan Altima
  10. 2016-2017 Nissan Maxima
  11. 2015-2017 Subaru Legacy
  12. 2013-2017 Volvo S60

*We include some models that qualified for a Top Safety Pick+ award in 2016.  They do not meet the IIHS requirements for the 2017 award only due to marginal, poor or untested headlights.

Selecting the winner wasn’t too difficult.  Perfection was the key.  The very safest sedans earn the top “Good” rating in every IIHS crash test, every single sub-category IIHS crash test rating and earned the best “Superior” frontal crash prevention rating by avoiding crashes in both high and low speed testing got 6 points total.  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.  (Note that for 2017, the NHTSA no longer shows results in each individual crash test, so we require 5-star ratings in the frontal and side combined ratings).  This threshold is admittedly very high, so any of our Runners-Up could claim to be just as safe on the road as our winner:

Safest family sedan for 2017:

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Caution: Falling Snowflake

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In case any of you were wondering, I’m doing okay. The Blizzard of January 7th was rough on all of us, but we will rebuild. This desert-bum-transplanted-into-the-South will rise again.

Cue jokes about how the North handles the snow vs the South. Ya’ll can joke all you want about us munching on our bread and drinking our milk while a single snowflake falls from the sky but I’d like to see how you handle a tornado. Oh, you don’t get them? Exactly.

Friendly ribbing aside, it’s true that things pretty much shut down out here over snow. In fact, schools were cancelled yesterday and are cancelled again for tomorrow. We got an inch or so on Saturday that promptly melted. That’s it. We’ve had record lows, with our temps not coming above freezing, but that’ll be fixed right quick when it hits 70 by the end of the week. Out here, schools are closed or on delays because our back roads are not treated. We don’t have plows and we don’t have the brine that Charlotte uses on the streets. Even Charlotte isn’t exactly prepared- as a nurse, I was still expected to show up to work in the city this past weekend and while the streets were treated, there wasn’t a soul in sight while I slid my way through that icy-rain. It simply doesn’t make sense to put money toward something that never happens.

That being said, those of us in this position could use some safe driving tips. Those of you who drive through 30 feet of snow every day on their way to work, just humor us here and offer any tips you may have.

-Don’t drive too fast, but also don’t drive too slow. The inchworm like crawl is what leads to jampacked highways, which in turn leads to accidents and stranded drivers. Think this scene from the snow we had in 2014 here in North Carolina:

snow2

Yeah, don’t cause that.

-If you slide, turn into it and don’t brake. Wait till you feel your wheels grip the road and regain control.

-Increase your following distance. It’s gonna take you longer to stop. Which leads to the next tip:

-Don’t stop if you can help it, and if you have to, do it slowly.

-Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Take your time.

-Watch those bridges!

-Make sure you have items in your car you may need if your car breaks down or you slide off the road. Charged phone, flashlight, warm clothing/blankets, etc.

snow3

And pretty much just stay home. Seriously. Schools are closed, a lot of offices are closed, so unless you’re essential personnel, just enjoy it. Sometimes I wonder if the jokes toward the South are slightly based on wishing for a similar “snow-cation”. Everyone needs a day to be “stuck” at home doing nothing, with an excuse for child-like excitement and staring out the windows. Although I suppose when you live where you get multiple feet of snow every winter that isn’t exactly feasible.

We are going on day 4 of “snow effects” even though there’s no snow, and I’m ready for spring. Rivalries aside, I think we can all agree that we can’t wait for warmer weather and sunshine.

 

Stay safe ya’ll. I’ve got a loaf of bread over here if you need it.

Baby Trend Recalls certain Hybrid LX 3-in-1 Carseats

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December 19, 2016 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 16C008000

Center Adjuster Rivet May Break/FMVSS 213

In the event of a crash, the child seat occupant is at an increased risk of injury.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 16C008000

Manufacturer Baby Trend, Inc.

Components CHILD SEAT

Potential Number of Units Affected 34

Summary

Baby Trend, Inc. (Baby Trend) is recalling certain Hybrid LX 3-in-1 Centennial booster seats, model number FB58181, manufactured on July 23, 2016, and Hybrid LX 3-in-1 Kiwi booster seats, model number FB48417, manufactured on July 14, 2016. The affected child seats have a center adjuster rivet that may pull through or break if the harness is being used with a child weighing more than 40 lbs. As such, these child seats fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 213, “Child Restraint Systems.”

Remedy

Baby Trend will notify owners and replace the child seat or provide a full refund. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Baby Trend customer service at 1-909-773-0018.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov

4moms Recalls Self-Installing Car Seat

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4moms4moms is issuing a recall on its self-installing carseat manufactured between July 1, 2016 and October 31, 2016. The recall affects about 2% of 1,622 carseats, or about 33 carseats, manufactured during this time. There have been no reported injuries at this time.

On some carriers, the coupling hooks that lock the carrier into the base have been improperly riveted, potentially causing them to stick and not attach to the base. The coupling hook failure has only been observed after extended use and testing. Again, there have been no reported injuries.

Fix: 4moms will send owners a new carrier starting January 13, 2017

What should you do: Visit the 4moms recall site to see if your carseat is affected. You can continue to use your affected carrier until you receive the new one.

  • Check to make sure the carrier is locked into the base by pulling up on the handle after the carrier is placed into the base. If it isn’t locked into the base, then . . .
  • Install the carrier without the base. The carrier can be installed “Euro style” as shown by Kecia in this video (demonstrating on a Nuna Pipa):

 

If you have other questions, you can call the 4moms Customer Care Team at 1-888-614-6667