When most people think of an extremely safe car, they picture a new auto with the latest safety and driver-assistive technologies. However, used cars can be just as safe as new ones, even if you do not go with a model that is just a year or two old. Of course, those who feel that driver-assistive technologies are a key part of safety will want to stick to the more recent model years. However, you should also pay attention to passive safety systems, airbags, structural strength, and overall safety ratings. If you are in the market for a used car and want it to be safe, consider one of the following options.
General Rules to Follow
Before looking at which used cars tend to be the safest, take some time to understand what makes an auto safe. Generally speaking, autos with lower horsepower are more likely to make the list, especially in the case of younger drivers. Experienced drivers do not need to eliminate autos with higher horsepower on a safety front because they should know not to push the engine in search of thrills. However, most teens do not have the same willpower.
Regardless of the age of the driver, a safe used car should be larger and heavier since compact and subcompact autos do not hold up well in collisions. Small SUVs, however, are OK since they weigh similar amounts to midsize cars. You also need to make sure the auto in question has electronic stability control, which is required on any auto from 2012 and later. Finally, pay attention to safety ratings from both the IIHS and NHTSA. Remember that the following list is far from exhaustive when it comes to incredibly safe used cars.
If you want to go with a luxury auto and prefer larger vehicles, the Volvo S80 is a great choice, provided you opt for a 2007 model year or later. The 2007 S80 is a Top Safety Pick with such safety features as antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and a range of side airbags. Just keep in mind that built-in child restraints were optional in 2007, so pay attention to your specific model if buying used.
Among the long list of options for a safe midsize car, the Subaru Legacy is a nice choice. Just choose a model from 2013 or later that was built after August 2012. This sedan was a 2013 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and even offers a front crash prevention system with a top Superior rating from the IIHS. As a Subaru, it also comes with all-wheel drive and has a reputation for lasting a very long time. So, you should still have years to come out of your used car.
Look at Nissan Rogues from 2014 and later and you will find a safe choice for a small SUV. It was a 2014 Top Safety Pick+. That same model year offers a front crash prevention system and has features like head curtain airbags for every row, a rollover sensor, and daytime running lights.