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Which Cars Under $40,000 Have Earned IIHS Top Safety Pick and NHTSA 5-Star Awards?

honda cr v sport l 2024 exterior oem 01 jpg 2024 Honda CR-V Sport-L | Manufacturer image

Many buyers prioritize safety and affordability when searching for a new car. Two of the best benchmarks for measuring car safety are the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 5-Star Safety Rating program and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick awards.

Related: These 71 Cars Earned IIHS Top Safety Pick Awards Amid Tougher Criteria

Here’s a list of the model-year 2024 cars that have won both awards, priced under $40,000 (all prices include destination charges).

5-Star Rating and Top Safety Pick+

  • Acura Integra: $32,995
  • Ford Explorer: $38,455
  • Honda Accord: $28,990
  • Honda HR-V: $26,450
  • Kia Telluride: $37,585
  • Mazda Mazda3: $25,355
  • Mazda CX-30: $26,415
  • Mazda CX-50: $31,720
  • Mazda CX-90: $39,300
  • Nissan Pathfinder (built after November 2023): $38,040
  • Subaru Ascent: $35,740
  • Toyota Prius: $29,045

5-Star Rating and Top Safety Pick

  • Honda CR-V: $30,850
  • Honda Odyssey: $39,635
  • Honda Pilot: $38,485
  • Hyundai Palisade: $38,045
  • Hyundai Santa Cruz: $28,275
  • Hyundai Tucson: $28,875
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee: $38,290
  • Kia Sportage: $28,565
  • Lexus UX: $36,490
  • Subaru Impreza: $24,115
  • Subaru Outback: $30,240
  • Toyota Camry: $27,515
  • Toyota Sienna: $39,080
  • Volkswagen Atlas: $39,420
  • Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport: $38,410

About NHTSA and IIHS Safety Testing

NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Rating program was implemented in 1993 to provide quality vehicle safety information to consumers purchasing a new car. NHTSA runs frontal, side and rollover crash tests. Afterward, the dummies secured in seat belts during the frontal and side tests are evaluated for injuries. The side test includes two scenarios: crashing into a side barrier and crashing into a side pole. The agency bases its rollover resistance rating on a laboratory measurement called the Static Stability Factor, which determines how top heavy a vehicle is, as well as a driving maneuver test that assesses a vehicle’s vulnerability to tipping over on the road.

The IIHS is a nonprofit organization focused on reducing car crashes through scientific research and analysis. The agency bases its rating on three crash tests: the moderate overlap front test and the small overlap front and side tests. In each test, dummies are evaluated for injuries and movement within the cabin, and the vehicle’s damage is assessed for structural performance. IIHS’s rating is also influenced by further tests of a vehicle’s forward collision mitigation system, headlights, seat belt reminder quality and child-seat Latch attachment capability.

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