For those in the market for a luxury car, buying or leasing one that has the highest safety ratings makes a lot of sense. It’s not only a parameter that seems to go with the whole idea of a luxury vehicle, but many of these luxury cars include a roster of safety features that would only be optional (if available) on non-luxury makes and models.
Two benchmarks for what constitutes the safest vehicles are the Top Safety Pick+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and the five-star (or four-star) overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Each of the 12 luxury cars here are Top Safety Pick+ winners – and score high on NHTSA safety ratings.
2016 Acura RLX – If value along with safety is a priority in an entry-luxury car, the 2016 Acura RLX should satisfy a number of buyers. Even the base RLX comes with an impressive list of standard features, such as navigation system, keyless ignition and entry, and LED headlights, that typically are optional on sedans of this size. Also standard are forward collision warning, lane departure warning, stability and traction control, a rearview camera, front side, side curtain and a driver knee airbag. The Technology and Advance packages include forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, lane departure intervention, road departure intervention, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. The Advance package also features an extra camera system that provides a top-down 360-degree view of the car – excellent for maneuvering into tight parking spaces. The 2016 RLX also received a five-star overall NHTSA safety rating.
2016 – Checking out the 2016 Audi A3 for its safety pedigree reveals a full roster of airbags (including driver and front passenger knee airbags), front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and automatic seatbelt tightening and window closing in the event of a potential frontal collision (this system is called Pre Sense Basic). Rear side airbags are an option in the A3 sedan. The top-of-the-line Prestige trim adds Audi Pre Sense Front, which includes lane departure warning and forward collision mitigation with automatic braking. The A3 earned the NHTSA’s top five-star overall safety rating.
2016 – A midsize luxury sedan, the 2016 Audi A6 provides impressive driving dynamics, a stylish and comfortable interior, and a slightly refreshed design overall. For the safety conscious, every A6 includes Audi’s Pre Sense Basic safety system that can warn the driver, close the windows and tighten up the seatbelts if there’s a potential for a frontal collision. Pre Sense Rear flashes the A6’s brake lights to warn following drivers to help avoid a rear-end collision. The Pre Sense Plus system (optional in the Driver Assistance package) handles both tasks and also fully tightens the seatbelts and automatically applies the full force of the brakes to avoid a forward collision or mitigate damage should one occur. In NHTSA testing, the A6 received a perfect five-star overall safety rating, with five each for frontal crash and side-impact protection.
2016 BMW 2-Series – Optional front crash protection is the must-have choice if you want a 2016 BMW 2-Series that carries the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ honor. A small, comfortable, sporty performance-oriented luxury car available in two-door coupe or convertible models with seating for four persons, the 2-Series offers excellent handling, a good ride, and high-quality interior loaded with standard features. Optional safety equipment includes a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, a lane departure warning system, and the aforementioned front crash protection called collision warning with city braking.
2016 – With its excellent crash-test scores, long list of standard features, quiet, comfortable and roomy interior, affordable price and lengthy warranty, the 2016 Hyundai Genesis large luxury sedan. Standard or optional (depending on model) safety equipment includes blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert. Also optional (on 3.8 with Tech package) and standard on 5.0 are lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and an automatic emergency braking system to help prevent lower-speed collisions or reduce the severity of a crash. NHTSA gave the Genesis a five-star overall safety rating.
2016 Infiniti Q70 – When equipped with optional front crash prevention, the 2016 Infiniti Q70 five-passenger midsize luxury sedan achieves the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ designation (although this doesn’t apply to four-wheel drive models with V8 engine). In addition to optional safety equipment that includes blind spot and lane departure warning systems, the Q70 offers even more active accident-avoidance technology with predictive forward collision warning, backup collision intervention, forward emergency braking, and around-view camera. The Q70 also earned a five-star overall NHTSA safety rating.
2016 – It just earned the NHTSA five-star overall safety rating (in December 2015), and the 2016 Lexus ES 350 luxury sedan is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winner as well when equipped with optional front crash prevention. Standard ES 350 safety equipment includes 10 airbags (including front knee airbags and rear side airbags). Lexus offers a new Safety System+ package for 2016 that includes a pre-collision system (with the ability to automatically apply the brakes in the event of a potential collision), lane departure alert with steering assist (to keep the driver in his or her lane), adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlight control. A blind-spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert are also available.
2016 Lexus RC – With its distinctive looks, spacious and comfortable interior and lots of standard or available features consumers want, the 2016 Lexus RC coupe is also a very safe luxury car. When equipped with optional front crash protection, the RC earns the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ designation. The optional adaptive cruise control comes with a forward collision mitigation system that can automatically apply the brakes in the event of a potential frontal impact.
2016 – While the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class family of midsize luxury cars includes sedan, coupe, wagon and convertible models, it’s the sedan version with standard Collision Prevention Assist Plus that earns the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ designation. This is radar-based technology that alerts the driver of approach to a vehicle or some stationary objects ahead if a potential collision is detected and, as soon as the driver begins to apply the brakes, adaptive brake assist automatically provides the ideal braking level to help prevent a collision or reduce the severity of the crash. This same system can provide autonomous braking from speeds up to 65 mph and activate the features of Pre-Safe (tighten front seatbelts, adjust the front passenger seat, and close the car’s windows and sunroof) if a collision appears imminent.
2016 Volvo S60 – Good news for the 2016 Volvo S60 midsize luxury sedan on the safety front: It just earned the NHTSA five-star overall safety rating with perfect five stars in front, side and rollover crash tests. That’s in addition to the Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. Key to these unbeatable safety ratings is the Volvo City Safety system that’s standard on the S60. The system is designed to prevent or mitigate crashes with a vehicle ahead at speeds up to 31 mph. What City Safety does is automatically pre-charge the brakes or automatically apply the brakes to help avoid a rear-ender or lessen the impact severity.
2016 – Until the new S90 bows in 2016, the 2016 Volvo S80 remains the Swedish automaker’s flagship model. And it’s a truly safe large luxury sedan loaded with standard safety features. City Safety is standard, so the car automatically brakes to help prevent frontal crashes. The optional technology package includes an expanded frontal collision mitigation system (with pedestrian and cyclist detection), lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, speed limit information, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control and automatic high-beam headlight control.
2016 Volvo V60 – Definitely not the typical boring, boxy midsize wagon, the 2016 Volvo V60 provides style, substance, safety and more to the discerning buyer who also may be considering small luxury sedans and crossovers to suit driving needs. The five-passenger V60 is available in four trim levels and all of them include standard City Safety, a system that can automatically apply the brakes at speeds up to 31 mph to either prevent or minimize a frontal collision. Optional additional advances safety technologies include frontal collision warning with full automatic braking and pedestrian and bicyclist detection and braking, a driver inattention warning system, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, and a blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors.