Especially if you have a precious cargo of small children, the safest SUV is the best SUV for your family. Many people purchase SUVs because of the feeling of safety they get from driving around in a large vehicle. However there are objective ratings regarding the best choice in safety for a sport utility vehicle. If safety is foremost on your mind when purchasing, learn about your options for the safest SUV before you go down to the dealership.
Which Are the Safest SUVs?
You have a number of options when setting out to pick the right SUV for your family. The following SUVs have received high safety rankings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Forbes and Vehix.
- Jeep Grand Cherokee: The Jeep Grand Cherokee includes both a 4x2 and a 4x4 option. Safety features include traction control, electronic stability control, and side airbags throughout the vehicle, as well as radar sensors to help you keep an eye on your blind spot. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named this as a top safety pick, and the United States Government has awarded the vehicle a five-star crash rating. MSN Autos has rated the car as the safest for SUVs, and Consumer's Digest rated the vehicle as a best buy.
- Toyota Highlander: Another Insurance Institute for Highway Safety pick is Toyota's Highlander. The vehicles comes in standard, SE, limited, hybrid, and hybrid limited editions. Assist control safety features will help you starting on hills, as well as going down them. Rear door locks include a child protection feature that will keep curious little ones from opening a door while driving. Side-impact door beams protect you and your family in the event of a crash, while tire pressure monitors help you avoid a dangerously unpredictable flat on the highway.
- Acura MDX: Acura bills its MDX as "the driver's SUV." Safety features include a vehicle stability assist, tire pressure gauge, airbags, and active front head restraints. There are also several optional features to protect children, including anchors for children's seats, automatically deactivating air bags, and windows that can sense little fingers in their path as they close.
- Chevrolet Equinox: A crossover SUV, the Chevy Equinox offers driver and passenger airbags with an on/off switch, anti-lock disc brakes, a traction control system, tire pressure monitor, rear parking assist, and automatic crash response from OnStar. Most of these features are standard in all four models of the Equinox.
- Hyundai Santa Fe: Hyundai's Santa Fe SUV has features to help you avoid accidents, as well as protect you in any accidents that you happen to get into. These include an electronic stability control and traction stability control system. A brake assisting system helps the anti-lock brakes react to emergency situations when more force is needed on the brakes. The headrests are specifically designed to prevent whiplash.
SUV Safety Concerns
If safety is one of your primary considerations when shopping for a vehicle, it's a good idea to educate yourself about some of the safety concerns involving SUVs. As you shop for a new vehicle, be sure to ask the dealer about the following potential issues:
- Because of their higher center of gravity, some SUVs may have a higher likelihood of rolling over in a crash. Ask about a model's performance in rollover crash tests.
- The body style of some SUVs contributes to blind spots for the driver. Be sure to sit in the car and make sure you can clearly see the road behind you and on either side.
- Many SUV models are available in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. If you drive on wet or snowy roads, check the vehicle's performance in those conditions.
Purchasing an SUV
When purchasing the safest SUV, you must weigh all the features against one another and also consider which vehicle you prefer to drive. Test driving several models makes it easier to make the correct decision for your family. Many of the above-mentioned SUVs have similar features, so the ultimate decision will likely be a function of price and personal preference.