IIHS Lists Deadliest Vehicles

By David Thomas  on April 18, 2007

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released a list of the deadliest vehicles on the road between 2002 and 2005. The list below identifies the most- and least-deadly cars and trucks, but they’re all 2001 - 2004 vehicles. It’s important to note that in just the three model years since then, there have been significant strides made in automotive safety, especially with the proliferation of standard safety equipment. Many of the vehicles mentioned are not produced any longer, and many have been significantly updated or redesigned entirely.

While many news outlets may point out the horrifying numbers in the report (125,000 deaths over four years is a huge number of fatalities), we do want to mention that IIHS states very far up in the report that between 1990 and 1994 there were 110 deaths per million registered vehicles. That number fell to 87 per million between 1999 and 2002 and, in the latest report, from 2002 - 2005 it was 79 per million. IIHS calls that decline of nearly 30% a significant improvement.

One interesting thing in the numbers is that the smallest vehicles in every segment are more dangerous than larger models, with the exception of sports cars and large SUVs, which show the opposite trend.

Source: IIHS

Lowest Vehicle Deaths Per Million Vehicles

  • Chevrolet Astro: minivan very large                    7 
  • Infiniti G35: luxury car midsize                           11
  • BMW 7 Series: luxury car very large                   11
  • Toyota 4Runner: 4WD SUV midsize                    13
  • Audi A4/S4 Quattro: 4dr car midsize                   14
  • Mercedes E-Class: luxury car large                     14
  • Toyota Highlander: 4WD SUV midsize                  14
  • Mercedes M-Class: 4WD SUV midsize                  14
  • Toyota Sienna: minivan very large                     17
  • Honda Odyssey: minivan very large                    17
  • Lexus ES 330: luxury car midsize                       18
  • Lexus RX 330: 2WD SUV midsize                        18
  • Toyota Sequoia: 2WD SUV large                        18
  • Honda Pilot: 4WD SUV midsize                           19
  • BMW X5: 4WD SUV midsize                               19


Highest Vehicle Deaths Per Million Vehicles

  • Chevrolet Blazer: 2dr 2WD SUV midsize             232
  • Acura RSX: 2dr car small                                202
  • Nissan 350Z: sports car midsize                       193
  • Kia Spectra: hatchback 4dr car small                191
  • Pontiac Sunfire: 2dr car small                          179
  • Kia Rio: 4dr car mini                                       175
  • Chevrolet Cavalier: 2dr car small                      171
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse: 2dr car small                       169
  • Dodge Neon: 4dr car small                              161
  • Pontiac Grand Am: 2dr car midsize                    160
  • Chevrolet Cavalier: 4dr car small                      150
  • Ford Mustang: sports car midsize                     150
  • Ford Ranger: 4WD pickup small                        150
  • Mazda B Series: 2WD pickup small                    147
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse: convertible sports car small   146
  • Mitsubishi Montero: Sport 2WD SUV midsize       146


Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David


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