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The Safest Cars in Canada

July 4, 2011

Vehicle safety is obviously an important consideration when purchasing a car, but what many car buyers fail to realize is that safety ratings affect more than the health and welfare of one's family. Insurance companies price auto insurance policies according to many factors; one such factor is a vehicle's safety statistics. Automobiles which are more likely to sustain damage in a collision carry correspondingly higher insurance rates.

Getting the best auto insurance policy for your money therefore requires consumers to be aware of which cars are rated highest by safety institutes. For the model year 2010, the safest cars in Canada consist of nineteen passenger cars and eight SUVs which earned the honour of "top safety pick" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Institute based its findings on crash data from 2006 to 2009, considering only common models. Overall rankings revealed that Ford, including its Volvo subdivision, had six models meeting the Institute's stringent safety requirements. This was the most of any manufacturer. Subaru had five top-rated models; Volkswagon, which includes Audi, also had five.

Subaru stood alone in having a top-rated vehicle in every class in which it was present.

The Institute released two lists of top-rated vehicles. One list considered only the ratio of driver fatalities to vehicles of that type registered and did not consider other safety data or requirements. There are only seven models on this list. The other list used several criteria and contains a total of 27 vehicles.

Driver Death Statistics

The safest cars in Canada according to driver fatality percentages alone include the following automobiles listed in no particular order:

All Top-Rated Vehicles

When other data sets were introduced into the analysis, the list of top safety picks expands to 27 vehicles grouped into several classes by size and purpose. Within each list, the vehicles are listed alphabetically, not by order of safety:

Passenger Cars: Small

Passenger Cars: Mid-Sized

Passenger Cars: Large

SUVs: Compact

SUVs: Mid-Sized

Twenty-seven vehicles earning a top safety rating may seem like a great many, but in fact the figure is startlingly low; in the 2009 model year there were 94 such vehicles. The dramatic decline is in part a result of the Institute's new requirements that top-rated passenger cars and SUVs must meet a new standard for roof strength. The goal of the requirement is to protect passengers from injury and death during collisions which result in rollovers.

Since top-rated vehicles are less common for the 2010 model year, car buyers should pay extra attention to the rankings in order to secure the lowest possible car insurance quotes.