Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • There are so many types of cars, which make it hard to determine which is the safest car to insure
  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and their TOP Safety Picks help narrow down your choices
  • When buying a brand-new vehicle, keep in mind though it takes time to build a solid safety rating

Which is the safest car is a very broad question since there are many types of vehicles on the road. From economy cars to pickup trucks, each has their own classification, and it’s hard to group all cars into one group.

Before buying any vehicle, you should always look at safety reports published by independent agencies. One well established and respected industry is The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) who publishes a wealth of data online about car safety ratings.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has tens of thousands of reports on vehicles sold in today’s marketplace, a dedicated vehicle crash-testing site, and publishes annual safety reports online for the public to see.

One of the most popular reports is the TOP Safety Picks.

The Institute’s TOP Safety Picks are vehicles based on their crash-worthiness (or how well the vehicle protects occupants during a crash). Every vehicle is given a rating (from poor to good) based on several tests including:

  • Front and side high-speed crash tests
  • Rollover test
  • Evaluation of how head/seat restraints protection against neck injuries in rear impact crashes
  • Other safety features

Any vehicle which makes the Top Safety Picks must receive the top (good) rating in all four tests administered by the Institute. In 2010, the TOP vehicles must also have/offer some form of electronic stability control.

Let’s discuss the safest midsize cars for 2010 according to the Institute’s most recent TOP safety picks report.

Better yet, if you’d like to start comparing car insurance, enter your ZIP code above and compare at least three to four policies today!

What are our top safety picks: Mid-size cars 2010

  • Audi A3 and A4
  • Chevy Malibu (2010-11 models built after Nov 2009)
  • Chrysler Sebring (4-door with ESC)
  • Dodge Avenger (with ESC)
  • Ford Fusion (2010-11 models made after April 2010)
  • Hyundai Sonata (2011)
  • Lincoln MKZ (models after April 2010)
  • Mercedes C class (2010-11 models)
  • Mercury Milan (models after April 2010)
  • Subaru Legacy and Outback (2010-11)
  • VW Jetta (sedan | sportwagon)
  • VW Passat (sedan)
  • Volvo C30 (2010-11)

Only ONE minivan, the Toyota Sienna (2011 models), achieved a TOP Safety Pick in the 2010 report.

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Are safer cars cheaper to insure?

The easy answer is yes; however, the practical answer is not always. While it’s true car insurance premiums are based on risk, some car insurance companies do not automatically award lower rates based merely on a single report.

Safety ratings from agencies such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, no doubt, play a critical role in helping car insurance companies evaluate the risk of driving a particular vehicle.

Although, sometimes newer models may take a couple years to build up a safety history.

Whenever you are buying a new car, it’s essential to purchase a vehicle which has excellent safety ratings. Eventually, you will (most likely) also end up getting better car insurance rates.

Looking for better and more affordable car insurance? Enter your ZIP code below and start comparison shopping today!