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The 8 Safest Cars on the Road

The US-based non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety maintains up-to-date lists of the safest car models to assist car buyers in identifying which cars provide the best safety features. The following list of the safest small cars on the road is based on their August 2018 listings in the small car category.

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Hyundai Elantra

No stone was left unturned in making the Hyundai Elantra as safe as possible. This car is loaded with seven airbags, including front airbags, curtain airbags, side impact and a driver knee airbag. Forget about wandering out your lane, with both lane departure warning and lane assist installed in the vehicle. That’s not all, the Hyundai Elantra also features blind spot assist to help you change lanes safely. Last but not least the car is equipped with automatic emergency braking designed to prevent frontal and pedestrian collisions.

KIA Forte

The KIA Forte’s standard safety features include advanced front airbags that control inflation rates based on collision input to minimize airbag injuries. This is in addition to full length side curtain airbags and shoulder airbags. There’s a strong focus on vehicle stability, with features including vehicle stability management systems, an electronic stability control system and brake assistance to ensure maximum braking power in emergency situations. Optional safety features revolve around safety when changing lanes, including lane departure warnings, lane change assist and lane keep assist. You can also equip the car with an autonomous braking system to prevent frontal collisions.

KIA Niro Hybrid

The safety features in the KIA Niro start with the car’s structure, which is built using advanced high-strength steel to improve body shell rigidity. This includes steel beams in car doors to absorb side impact forces. The car’s airbag system uses sensors to manage bag inflation and prevent injuries. A number of vehicle stability management systems are in place to keep drivers in control in hazardous situations, along with a tyre pressure monitoring system. Layered on top of these features are a optional lane departure and frontal collision warning systems.

KIA Soul

The KIA Soul’s body is a combination of a high strength shell designed to prevent the cabin crumpling and crumple zones designed to absorb energy during collisions. The car’s doors are also fitted with steel beams to provide protection in side impacts. A set of seven airbags cushion car occupants in the event of a collision, controlled by advanced sensors designed to limit airbag injuries. The KIA Soul comes equipped with a suite of active safety features, including a traction control system, vehicle stability management system, electronic stability control, electronic brake-force distribution for more effective braking, and a brake assist system. A tyre pressure monitoring system allows drivers to keep tabs on the state of their tyres.

Subaru Crosstrek

The Subaru Crosstrek’s safety features start at the structural level, with passive safety features including an upgraded ring-shaped reinforcement frame to increase structural strength, improved crumple zones that increase impact absorption by 40% and a low centre of gravity to improve driver control and reduce risk of rollovers. A set of seven airbags comes standard. The all wheel drive (AWD) provides even more driver control in tough conditions, and the Crosstrek is equipped with responsive headlights that swivel on corners and respond to light and traffic conditions. Active safety features include blind spot detection, lane change assist, a rear cross traffic alert and automatic reverse braking.

Subaru Impreza

The Subaru Impreza was engineered with safety in mind from the ground up. The car benefits from the same structural platform as the Crosstrek, and an AWD system that provides optimal performance and control in hazardous conditions. The car is equipped with a VDC electronic traction and stability control that can detect loss of control and step in to prevent an accident. Rear sensors and cameras provide lane change assist, blind spot detection and warning sensors for hazards that emerge behind the car. The Impreza also comes standard with seven airbags and an active headlight system for improved night time visibility while cornering or driving on dark roads.

Subaru WRX

The Subaru WRX is built on the same structural platform as the Impreza and Crosstrek, providing it with the same upgrade in structural strength and accident energy absorption capacity. Seven airbags line the cockpit of the vehicle, including a driver knee airbag. Active safety features include VDC electronic stability control to prevent loss of vehicle control, as well as active headlights. The WRX’s all-wheel drive system further improves driver control, and the vehicle’s advanced Brake Assist and intelligent ABS braking systems are paired with vented brake discs to enhance braking power. The Subaru WRX also offers a full suite of rear hazard detection systems, including autonomous reverse braking, lane change assist and a rear cross traffic alert.

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