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The 37 Safest Cars of 2008


Safety is on most everyone's mind when it comes to buying a new car, but sorting through the various safety ratings, figuring out whether there are air bags in the right places, and other features that will help to keep your family safe can be overwhelming.

Audi A6

The Audi A6 is one of the top-ranked large cars for 2008.

Fortunately, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests vehicles every year to determine which are the safest on the road.

How do they decide which cars are the safest?

Vehicles are rated as good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. In order to become a top safety pick, vehicles must:

  • Earn good ratings on all three crash tests

  • Offer electronic stability control (ESC), as IIHS research has shown that ESC significantly reduces the risk of crashes, particularly fatal single-vehicle crashes, by helping drivers maintain control of their vehicles during emergency maneuvers

The Safest Cars of 2008

Large Cars:

  1. Audi A6
  2. Cadillac CTS
  3. Ford Taurus with optional electronic stability control
  4. Mercury Sable with optional electronic stability control
  5. Volvo S80

Midsize Cars:

  1. Audi A3
  2. Audi A4
  3. Honda Accord 4-door models
  4. Saab 9-3
  5. Subaru Legacy with optional electronic stability control

Midsize Convertibles:

  1. Saab 9-3
  2. Volvo C70

Nissan Murano

The Nissan Murano was among the 17 midsize SUVs that earned top safety ratings.

Small Car:

  1. Subaru Impreza with optional electronic stability control


  1. Honda Odyssey
  2. Hyundai Entourage
  3. Kia Sedona

Midsize SUVs:

  1. Acura MDX
  2. Acura RDX
  3. BMW X3
  4. BMW X5
  5. Ford Edge
  6. Ford Taurus X
  7. Honda Pilot
  8. Hyundai Santa Fe
  9. Hyundai Veracruz built after August 2007
  10. Infiniti EX35
  11. Lincoln MKX
  12. Mercedes M class
  13. Nissan Murano
  14. Saturn VUE built after December 2007
  15. Subaru Tribeca
  16. Toyota Highlander
  17. Volvo XC90

Small SUVs:

  1. Honda CR-V
  2. Honda Element
  3. Subaru Forester 2009 models

Large Pickup:

  1. Toyota Tundra

In the Market for a New Car?

You can also look for safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They've put together this simple chart that includes valuable information on crash tests, rollover ratings, and safety features. And when you're ready to start shopping, be sure to read through these 11 key steps to help you get the car that's right for you … and at the right price.

Recommended Reading

The Safest and Most Dangerous Cars and Trucks for 2007

Extreme Driving Situation Programs on the Rise in Response to #1 Cause of Teen Death: Teen Driving


Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

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