Historically, some of the
most dangerous automobiles have been those most prone to
rollover accidents. For several model years, certain top-heavy pickup trucks and SUVs possessed
the greatest risk of a rollover. Even if a driver were to successfully
swerve or steer away from potential danger, the abrupt shift in momentum
could send a top-heavy SUV tumbling over sideways.
Aside from rollover risks, safety also depends on frontal and side impact
ratings. Cars that break apart, disintegrate, or fail to protect its occupants
from direct impacts tend to rank low in terms of safety and accident survivability.
In recent years, engineering advances in suspension / chassis components
and electronic stability control systems have greatly reduced the risk
of rollovers among newer trucks and SUVs. The SUVs manufactured in 2014
are much safer and less prone to rollover accidents than those from 5,
10, or 15 years ago.
Crash Safety for Occupants: Minicars / City Cars Score Poorly on Crash
With today’s modern technology and mitigation of some rollover risk, a
new class of vehicles has gained the attention of safety advocates. Cars referred
to as city-cars, mini-cars, or micro-cars are consistently scoring poorly
on direct impact crash tests. These cars are also referred to sub-compacts.
Auto manufacturers targeting new segments of drivers and addressing the
lingering burden of fuel costs have developed a new line of somewhat minimalistic
vehicles that, due to their small size and overall lack of materials,
tend to break apart in crash tests or transmit unsafe levels of crash
forces to occupants.
minicars include models such as the Fiat 500 or Chevrolet Spark. Some safety advocates
have expressed opinions likening the micro / mini cars’ statures
to that of roadworthy, reinforced golf carts. Even though some minicars
ranked better than others within the class, most 2014 models ranked marginal
or poor in overall crash test ratings while all ranked marginal or poor
The Top Seven Best and Worst Cars for 2014 – Based on Crash Ratings
In comparison, some larger sedans, luxury models and imports won recognition for the
safest car models of 2014. Several of these vehicles scored consistently with “Good”
ratings across most or all crash test ratings. To separate the best from
the good, the top ranked vehicles boasted top safety grades across the
board as well superior ratings for initial quality and residual value.
Factoring in some of the poorest scores from the minicar segment, here
are the 2014
worst safety picks based upon crash test ratings. In each category, the listings correspond
with rank – #1 being the highest and lowest ranked vehicle in the
best and worst categories, respectively.
Best 2014 Vehicle Safety Picks
- Mazda 3
- Honda Accord
- Subaru Legacy
- Infiniti Q50
- Acura RLX
- Toyota Highlander
- Honda Odyssey
Worst 2014 Vehicle Safety Picks
- Honda Fit
- Fiat 500
- Hyundai Accent
- Toyota Prius C
- Nissan Versa
- Mitsubishi Mirage
- Ford Fiesta