CARS.COM — If you want an affordable used car, the safest choices aren’t necessarily out of the question. Manufacturers are serious about making the safest vehicles possible, and safety no longer has to come at a steep price. There are several options for affordable vehicles with excellent highway safety ratings.
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Cars.com analyzed Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash-test results for hundreds of models to find some diamonds in the used-car rough. Our criteria:
- Eligible vehicles must be model-year 2010 or older models.
- They need good or acceptable results in Insurance Institute’s small-overlap frontal test, moderate-overlap frontal test, side-impact test, roof-strength test and head restraint/seating evaluation. (IIHS scores are good, acceptable, marginal or poor.)
- They cannot have any missing scores among those five tests.
- They must have a standard electronic stability system, which includes antilock brakes and traction control. Stability systems have been required since 2012, but many of the safest vehicles had them before that.
Want a safe, affordable used vehicle? Here are five of the safest options.