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10 Safest Family Cars of 2015

Updated November 26, 2015

The old thought that a bigger car meant it was safer has long been debunked, as modern small cars are now safer than any big car from yesteryear. This is all thanks to creative engineering like crumple zones, advanced airbags, seatbelt pretensioners, and a number of electronic nannies like stability and traction control.

With the automotive world now fuller than ever, we took the time to pick out the 10 safest family cars of 2015. This list includes sedans, hatchbacks, crossovers, and even one minivan, so we should have a car for every shopper listed below.

2015 Acura TLX

2015 Acura TLX

2015 Acura TLX

Acura may not make the best luxury cars ever, but it certainly is up there in safety throughout its entire lineup. The new-for-2015 TLX leads the charge for the Japanese automaker with five-star ratings across the board from the NHTSA. On top of that, the IIHS also placed it on its exclusive Top Safety Pick Plus list. In IIHS testing, the TLX received “Good” ratings in all categories except the tough small overlap front test, which it received an “Acceptable” rating

The IIHS recommends opting for the Front Collision Warning system for optimal safety in the TLX, while the NHTSA recommends the FCW system along with a rearview camera and lane departure warning for optimal safety.

2015 Chrysler 200

2015 Chrysler 200C

2015 Chrysler 200C

Though it’s small in stature, the Chrysler 200 is one of the safest cars on the road today. Its “Good” rating in all IIHS testing, including the feared small overlap front test, earns it a spot on the prestigious IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus list. In NHTSA testing, the 200 received five-star ratings on everything except rollover safety, which came in at four stars.

The IIHS recommends going with the optional Full Speed Forward Collision Warning Plus for maximum safety. The NHTSA also recommends the FSFCWP and the optional lane departure warning for maximum safety.

2015 Toyota Sienna

2015 Toyota Sienna

2015 Toyota Sienna

For larger families, your options are a little more limited, as larger SUVs and minivans have a rougher time in certain tests. Fortunately, the Toyota Sienna was able to come out of both the NHTSA and the IIHS testing with pretty high scores. In NHTSA testing, the Sienna got a five-star overall rating, thanks to four-star front crash and rollover safety ratings, and a five-star side-crash safety rating. What’s more, the IIHS actually added the Sienna to its Top Safety Pick Plus list, thanks to “Good” ratings in every test except the small overlap front test. In the latter test, the Sienna received an “Acceptable” rating.

For optimal safety, the IIHS recommends opting for the Pre-Collision System.

2015 Toyota Camry

2015 Toyota Camry

2015 Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry is a long-time member of the safest family car club, and the 2015 model year is no exception. This midsize sedan earned five stars in all NHTSA tests except rollover safety and frontal crash safety where it received four stars, putting it near the top of its segment. The IIHS is also quite fond of the 2015 Camry, as it donned it one of its Top Safety Pick Plus models in 2015, thanks to its “Good” ratings across the board, including the small overlap front test.

For maximum safety, the IIHS recommends adding in the optional Pre-Collision System. The NHTSA recommends going with the optional rearview camera, Pre-Collision System, and lane departure warning.

2015 Subaru Legacy

2015 Subaru Legacy

2015 Subaru Legacy

The 2015 Subaru Legacy is one of the few sedans to ace every single safety test from the two main testing bodies. In NHTSA testing, the Legacy received five stars in every metric, earning it a five-star overall rating. In IIHS testing, the Legacy received “Good” ratings on all of the tests, including the small overlap front test, earning it a position on the Top Safety Pick Plus list.

The IIHS and NHTSA recommend opting for Subaru’s EyeSight system for the safest ride possible.

2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX 200t

2015 Lexus NX 200t

The Lexus NX may be a polarizing UV, thanks to its aggressive bodylines, but there is no denying its ability to haul your family safely. The NHTSA gave it a five-star overall rating after it earned four-stars in frontal crash and rollover safety, and five stars in side crash safety. The IIHS shows its support of the small luxury crossover by adding it to its Top Safety Pick Plus list after it received “Good:” ratings in all of its main safety tests.

2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan

2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan

2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan

Even Hyundai gets in on the safest cars of 2015 list, as the NHTSA rates the Genesis Sedan five stars on all of its tests. The Genesis also received “Good” ratings in all tests, including the small overlap front. What’s more, the NHTSA also rated the Genesis as “Superior” in front crash prevention with the right option boxes ticked.

The IIHS recommends going with the optional Automatic Emergency Braking, which comes as a part of the Tech Package. The NHTSA found the Genesis just fine in its base configuration.

2015 Volvo S60

2015 Volvo S60

2015 Volvo S60

Volvo has long been the manufacturer of some of the safest cars on the planet. The 2015 S60 happens to be one of those cars, as the NHTSA granted it five stars in all of its testing metrics. The IIHS also placed the S60 on its Top Safety Pick Plus list thanks to its “Good” ratings in every test. For good measure, the IIHS gave the S60 a “Superior” rating in front crash prevention with the optional Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection.

The NHTSA recommends opting for the Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection and lane departure warning, while the IIHS recommends just the former to make the S60 as safe as possible.

2015 Mazda3

2015 Mazda3

2015 Mazda3

Mazda’s Skyactiv technology not only makes the Mazda3 lighter and more fuel efficient, it also makes it safer. This is evidenced by its five-star overall rating from the NHTSA, which it earned by getting five-star ratings in front and side crash safety, and four stars in rollover safety. The IIHS also lists the Mazda3 as one of its Top Safety Pick Plus cars, thanks to “Good” ratings in all of its main safety tests. These ratings apply to both the four-door and hatchback models.

To get the safest Mazda3 possible, the IIHS recommends opting for the Smart City Brake Support and Forward Obstruction Warning systems.

2015 Mazda CX-5

2015 Mazda CX-5

2015 Mazda CX-5

Rounding out our list is the 2015 Mazda CX-5, which not only has a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA, but it is also a Top Safety Pick Plus by the IIHS. The only test that the CX-5 didn’t get a five-star rating from the NHTSA on was rollover safety. The IIHS gave it “Good: ratings in all of its testing, netting it a slot in the Top Safety Pick Plus list.

The IIHS recommends going with the Smart City Brake Support system to make the CX-5 its safest.

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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