The 5 All Time Safest Cars From Around the World
Posted by: Dan on 31/10/2014
The 5 All-Time Safest Cars From Around The World
By and large, automakers today are preoccupied with getting cars to go faster. They aren't necessarily thinking about safety features and reliability as much.
It's good to know, then, that there are still companies like Volvo that are giving considerable attention to safety and security. A lot of innovation and technological advancement is happening in the area of safety features, though it may not be quite as flashy or fun as turbocharged engines, horsepower, or torque.
Let's take a look at some of the safest cars from around the world, and what makes them so reliable.
1. Volvo XC90
Image: Bentley Smith
Many consumers associate safety with the Vovlo brand. In fact, there are other cars, like the V40 hatchback or the S80 sedan that could just as easily make this list. However, the XC90 ute now stands as the world's safest car, and is worth taking a look at.
What makes the XC90 so safe? It includes several unique features, like the auto brake that engages when turning in front of an oncoming vehicle, a run-off road protection package, and an auto-follow function for slow-moving traffic.
Unfortunately, running off the road is not an uncommon type of accident. For the most part, it happens because of driver fatigue, distraction, or poor weather. The XC90 detects these scenarios, automatically tightens the front safety belts, and applies extra steering torque if the car is about to leave the lane, and warns the driver of unintended actions.
In addition, the energy absorbing technology counteracts spinal injuries by reducing the typical vertical force encountered on hard terrain by as much as one third.
These and other technologically advanced features make the Volvo XC90 a safe car.
2. BMW 5 Series Saloon
The BMW 5 Series is BMW's best-selling executive car across the globe. It offers a high degree of comfort, a great interior, has plenty of space, and also boasts great fuel economy. Incidentally, the 3 Series Saloon could also easily make this list.
The 5 Series is loaded with safety devices, and if one were to purchase all of the optional extras, they would have state-of-the-art safety technology in their car. A fully equipped 5 Series can monitor surrounding hazards and alert the driver of potential collisions. The advanced design also offers considerable passive safety.
However, the extra safety features do come at a high cost. Some reviewers also note that this isn't a great car to have unless you have the right options. Some of these extras include adaptive cruise control, a heads-up display, a lane departure warning system, as well as a night-vision package.
The 5 Series is considered one of the best cars to drive in the executive class of automobiles. The handling is responsive, has great grip, and is precise.
The 5 Series also comes with six airbags, stability control and even achieved a five-star score in Euro NCAP crash tests.
3. Vauxhall Mokka SUV
The Vauxhall Mokka ute was first launched in 2012, and is a crossover SUV directly in competition with cars like the Nissan Juke, Kia Sportage or Skoda Yeti.
There are three engine options to choose from with the Mokka, including a 1.4-litre turbo petrol for performance, a 1.6-litre petrol, as well as a 1.7-litre diesel. This ute is spacious, runs relatively smooth, has good fuel economy (especially with the diesel engine), and is a good off-roader.
Like the BMW 5 Series, the Mokka got a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests (and a 100% safety assist score), which is one of the reasons why it makes this list. It also comes equipped with six airbags, adaptive brake lights, electronic stability and traction control, hill-start assistance, hill-descent control, as well as a cruise control with a speed limiter function.
The Forward Camera Pack extra allows for lane departure warning, forward collision warning as well as traffic sign recognition.
Like most utes, there is the issue of lean on corners, making rolling a possibility. However, it still has good balance and precise control overall.
4. Renault Clio Hatchback
Image: Bentley Smith
The Renault Clio hatchback is big, bold, stylish, affordable, and is a popular choice among supermini buyers, who might also be looking at models like the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, or Skoda Fabia. The Clio is a five-door hatchback, and comes with a wide range of engine options.
These options include the 1.2-litre 75bhp petrol, a three-cylinder turbocharged 0.9-litre TCe petrol, a 1.5-litre dCi, a 1.2-litre petrol TCe unit, as well as a 1.6-litre turbocharged 197bhp unit.
Renault understands the importance of safety, especially for family buyers. The Clio received a five-star rating in Euro NCAP tests, and includes safety equipment like ESC, ASR and Brake Assist. However, it only comes with four airbags. Options include rear parking sensors as well as a reversing camera.
Renault hasn't always had a reputation being reliable, but is starting to work its way back up the ranks here in 2014. It also has an 89% adult occupant protection score, as well as a 99% score in the safety assist category.
The Clio has a responsive engine, offers great suspension and comfort, and features precise handling. On the downside, the ride can be a bit bouncy.
5. Hyundai Santa Fe SUV
The Hyundai Santa Fe ute is spacious and comfortable, has great fuel economy, and rivals with the likes of the Kia Sorento, Land Rover Freelancer, as well as the Honda CR-V. It would make for a great off-roader and tow car, though it is quite expensive considering its competition.
The Santa Fe has quite a bit of body lean and has light steering. A relatively relaxed driver shouldn't have too much issue with that, however.
The car achieved the full five-star rating with the Euro NCAP. It has driver and front passenger airbags, side and curtain airbags (seven in total), electronic stability control as well as seatbelt pretensioners. The five-year warranty is nothing to sneeze at either. The Santa Fe also scored 96% for adult protection.
The Santa Fe is only offered with a single engine model, which is the 194bhp 2.2-litre CRDi unit. Despite how big the car is, the engine helps it to run surprisingly fast.
In addition to the cars mentioned here, the Ford Kuga SUV, the Audi A3 hatchback, the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV and the Subaru Forester SUV are also cited as being reliable and safe. Nevertheless, multiple Volvo and BMW models tend to dominate most lists.
It is difficult to say whether or not safety will become trendier in the future, but more automakers are beginning to utilize technology for the sake of a car's overall safety.
Can you think of any other cars that have a reputation of being safe? When you are looking for a safe car, what features do you look for?
Don't forget to leave your thoughts in the comments section.