When shopping for a new car, many people are impressed by what they can see – things like a fancy dashboard with sophisticated gauges, seat warmers, and shiny touch-screen displays are enough to make most people go weak at the knees.

However, the most critical features on a car are the ones you don’t often see – features like automatic emergency braking systems, adaptive cruise control, and more are working behind the scenes to keep you safe while navigating the road and other drivers.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) requires today’s cars to have certain safety features before receiving safety awards.

If you have ever wondered which car brands are the safest, keep reading. Here are seven of the safest car brands, according to their IIHS awards.

1. Volvo

Volvo has been a pioneer of automotive safety for decades – and was also the first automaker to focus on superior safety features and structural integrity in its advertising campaigns. Volvo’s offering consists of two wagons, three SUVs, and two sedans – all three crossovers have received awards for safety from the IIHS.

Volvos cars have a built-in Safe City system that utilizes sensors and cameras. Steering Support works with these sensors and cameras to help avoid collisions by correcting the steering wheel.

Advanced safety features are standard on almost all Volvos. Extra features include automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, traffic sign recognition, and driver drowsiness monitoring on some models.

Volvo’s XC90 and V90 also have the Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving system as a standard safety feature. Visit volvo arizona to see Volvo’s latest lineup.

2. Tesla

Tesla is paving the way for innovation regarding safety systems, cameras, and semi-autonomous driving. All new Tesla models are fully equipped with the hardware and camera systems to provide fully-autonomous driving when the technology becomes available.

The suite of cameras delivers a built-in dashcam and enables Sentry Mode – a feature that allows the car to be “watched” and the footage recorded.

The camera system is also integral to the Tesla Autopilot feature, enabling the vehicle to drive almost entirely autonomously in particular situations. Tesla Autopilot can navigate the car, allow you to “call” the car to you in parking lots, and even exit or enter freeways.

Currently, Tesla has three vehicles: the Model S, Model 3, and Model X. The Model 3 was awarded Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS.

Besides the Model 3, all models come with most or all of the features above. Extra features include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, side collision avoidance, pedestrian detection, and much more.

3. Mercedes Benz

When it comes to semi-autonomous systems, Mercedes Benz is the forerunner. Mercedes Benz was one of the first automakers to pioneer semi-autonomous technology and bring it to the market – albeit only on the priciest models as costly upgrades.

Today, Mercedes Benz cars come with an array of safety features and semi-autonomous capabilities. Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and pedestrian detection.

Mercedes Benz recently won five IIHS Top Safety Pick+ awards. Other safety features available are rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic park assist, lane change assist, traffic sign recognition, driver condition monitoring, crosswind assist, speed limit assist, head-up display, and night vision assist.

4. Genesis

Genesis – a new range of luxury vehicles from Hyundai – receives a ten-out-of-ten rating for safety. Genesis’ lineup consists of the G70, G80, and G90, and all three were named Top Safety Pick+ winners by the IIHS.

Genesis vehicles all come with an impressive list of standard safety features, including pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, automatic high-beam headlights, and driver attention monitoring.

Extra safety features available on Genesis cars are adaptive headlights, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, surround-view parking system, and a head-up display.

5. Subaru

When thinking about vehicle brands with the best safety features, Subaru usually comes to mind. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Subaru’s lineup garnered 10 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ awards, nor that some even go to great lengths to source the best JDM imports in Michigan (or wherever it is they are based) in order to get themselves their perfect car.

Almost every vehicle in Subaru’s lineup comes with all-wheel drive as a standard feature, as well as the EyeSight safety system – only the BRZ sports car is the exception.

Subaru’s EyeSight system includes warnings such as lane departure and sway, forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and pre-collision throttle management. The EyeSight suite is standard on most of Subaru’s lineup, including the Forester, Ascent, Outback, Legacy, and Crosstrek Hybrid.

Other notable safety features available for Subaru vehicles include rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, a rear-seat reminder, blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beams, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. In addition to the EyeSight system, some of these features are standard on some models.

6. Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo’s lineup consists of just three models: the 4C, Stelvio, and Giulia. Although the 4C luxury vehicle has not been evaluated by the NHTSA or IIHS and does not have active safety features, the Giulia has received outstanding safety ratings.

The Giulia comes with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and rear parking sensors as standard features. Extra safety features include lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic high beam headlights.

Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio luxury SUV has a similar array of safety features; however, only rear parking sensors are standard. Bear in mind, though; it has not been crash-tested by the IIHS or the NHTSA.

7. Kia

Although Kia’s vehicles had a reputation for being low-quality and having minimal features in the past, today’s Kia vehicles now have an excellent track record for safety. Many models are fitted with driver assistance technology.

Kia has garnered five Top Safety Pick awards and seven Top Safety Pick+ awards from the IIHS – no mean feat when considering that they received safety awards for most cars in their lineup.

Many Kia models such as the 2020 Kia Forte and Sportage come with various safety features, including lane keep assist, driver attention monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. Kia’s Telluride has all of these safety features and more – such as a blind spot collision avoidance system and safe exit assist.

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