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 Protection
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.
These 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 in structure
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 best and 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
Worst 2014 Vehicle Safety Picks