If safety is in the eye of the beholder, there’s something to be said for beholding the distinction of the highest safety award bestowed on a vehicle by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), as well as four- or five-star overall safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Consumers in the market for a small SUV would do well to take a look at these eight safest 2016 small SUVs. Each of them is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winner.
2016 – In the compact-midsize luxury crossover class, the 2016 Audi Q5 stands out for a number of reasons: impressive fuel economy, good acceleration and handling with standard Quattro all-wheel drive, clean styling, handsome, high-quality trim, and comfortable and roomy cabin. The Q5 is also a very safe vehicle, earning the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ designation for “good” ratings in all required categories and “advanced” for front crash protection (with Audi Pre-Sense collision prevention system). The Q5 also has one of the widest arrays of safety technology in the class, including front thorax side airbags, optional rear side airbags, and optional or standard blind spot monitors. A rearview camera still isn’t standard, however, and is available only as part of a pricey package on mid- and upper trim levels.
2016 Fiat 500X – Some would argue that the 2016 Fiat 500X, a brand-new small crossover offering from Fiat and one that comes with smartly-drawn Italian flair, is a bit on the small side and it’s definitely no off-road crawler. Still, for urban dwellers in search of a good driving small SUV with excellent fuel economy and stellar safety scores, the 500X might be just the vehicle choice. For models built after July 2015 and equipped with available automatic emergency braking (which blends the benefits of radar with camera system capabilities for greater precision), there’s the added enticement of the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ badge. The 500X also boasts standard seven airbags, stability control and hill-start assist. A rearview camera is standard or optional depending on model.
2016 – Long popular with small families for its versatility, safety, features and style, the Honda CR-V compact crossover SUV earns the Top Safety Pick+ designation for 2016. Available Honda Sensing™ safety technology on the 2016 CR-V includes forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking system, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist system. In addition, the CR-V has a multi-angle rearview camera as standard equipment. For families, the CR-V is simple, functional, quiet and comfortable. Fuel economy with the single powertrain, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection, mated with a continuously variable transmission is very good at 33 mpg highway.
2016 – Stylish inside and out, the redesigned 2016 Hyundai Tucson appeals to families who want a little flair with their vehicle. Garnering a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA, the 2016 Tucson Limited Ultimate with automatic emergency braking snags the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ designation. Besides its appealing safety features, the Tucson rides well and offers an innovative automatic liftgate (on upper trim levels). Cargo space isn’t quite that of some competitors, namely the Honda CR-V and , but the Tucson’s cargo floor can be lowered two inches for greater versatility.
2016 – Its good looks are distinctive and expressive, the handling impressive, the cabin comfortable and the entire vehicle chock full of great features. What more could buyers ask for in a small crossover SUV? How about restyling for the 2016 model year – and an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ designation? The 2016 Mazda CX-5 has a notable list of safety features, including available adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitors, forward collision warning with automatic braking and more. Touring model gets a standard rearview camera and blind spot monitors, among other safety features. In the base Sport model with manual transmission, fuel economy is a class-leading EPA-estimated 35 mpg highway.
2016– Redesigned and reengineered for 2016, the Mitsubishi Outlander seven-passenger, three-row crossover SUV achieves its Top Safety Pick+ designation on the strength of available forward collision mitigation. Other standard safety features in the 2016 Outlander include seven airbags, activity stability control with traction control logic, tire pressure monitoring system, and anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist. In addition to available forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control are also offered. The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL with two-wheel drive and SEL advanced safety package features forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, power folding side mirrors, automatic headlights and front wiper de-icer.
2016 – Standard all-wheel drive is one of the reasons the 2016 Subaru Forester appeals to families. It’s the sense of secure footing in all weather that family buyers appreciate. Another is the Forester’s strong safety ratings, particularly an IIHS TSP+ designation and an overall five-star NHTSA rating. A rearview camera is standard on all Foresters and safety features available include adaptive cruise control and the Subaru EyeSight camera system that can detect road hazards ahead and automatically apply the brakes to avoid a collision or reduce the impact.
2016 Toyota RAV4 – It may not be the sportiest driver, but the 2016 Toyota RAV4 (and new RAV4 Hybrid) compact crossover SUV boasts a revised interior offering greater comfort, better fuel economy and the only hybrid in the segment. Important for family buyers is the top safety rating from both the IIHS and the NHTSA. New for 2016 is the optional Toyota Safety System (standard on RAV4 Limited) that includes forward collision warning, automatic pre-collision braking, lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian pre-collision and automatic high beams. Eight airbags and a rear camera system are standard on all models. Limited models include blind spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert. There’s also an optional new 360-degree “Bird’s Eye View” monitor.