The Safest Family Cars in Canada
When there’s precious cargo in the car, you don’t want to take any chances. Whether it’s a newborn you’re bringing home from the hospital, a multi-province family trip you’re taking, or a winter getaway south for a pair of Snowbirds, safety should always be a high priority.
To help you find the right vehicle for safe travels all year long, we’ve compiled a list containing seven of the safest family cars in Canada that you can buy pre-owned.
Tesla Model S
According to the NHTSA, the Tesla Model S achieved the highest scores possible in every crash test. It’s an incredible testament to the new tech that Tesla has included in their vehicles, and it leaves out the old tech that can hurt occupants badly. Because there’s virtually nothing upfront where a gas-powered engine would normally reside, major collisions that have the motor slide up into the passenger compartment are much less prone to significant injuries.
What’s more, Tesla’s features in the Model S are as much about safety as they are convenient. Available features include hands-free driving, parking spot detection, xenon headlights and LED taillights, adaptive cruise control, and the full suite of driver-assist systems.
In the Small SUV category, the Hyundai Tucson is one of a select few that earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick rating. It achieves the top scores in crash ratings from all angles and includes standard Lane Departure Warning and Lane Departure Prevention Systems to correct your steering and keep you on the road. For even more protection, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert are available on the Tucson.
All that tech in the Hyundai Tucson shouldn’t be a massive surprise. This is the same model that has a standard 161-hp 2.0L engine, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, heated seats, and a 7-inch infotainment display. For added safety, you can’t go wrong with a model equipped with HTRAC all-wheel drive.
If you want to save some money while getting awesome Hyundai financing deals, a 2017 to 2018 model is likely going to come in under the $20,000 mark.
If you’re looking at used cars, the 2018 MAZDA3 sedan should definitely be on your shortlist. It has a sexy vibe and tons of space inside, and it has the safety gear to make you feel comfortable behind the wheel. Automatic Emergency Braking – what Mazda calls Smart City Brake – started to come standard in models for the first time in 2018, and this model also has Blind Spot Monitor and Cross-Traffic Alert available on higher trims.
The MAZDA3 is sporty and fun to drive, but you don’t have to worry about your teen driver being a speed demon since the base engine is a 155-hp 2.0L. You can also rest easy because it’s been rated 9.8 out of 10 for safety by USNews.
In the 2018 model, you’re likely to still get some remaining factory warranty along with a modest price tag in the mid-teens. It can be financed for low payments since Mazda finance terms of 60 to 72 months are probably available too.
For the safest SUVs in Canada, you need only look to Volvo. The NHTSA has given the Volvo XC90 a full five-star safety rating, but that’s no surprise given Volvo’s track record for ensuring safe driving is paramount. For the XC90, safety tech is a leading reason for its high-ranking position with Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning as standard on all trims. In a collision, a veritable cocoon of airbags erupts around you, keeping you as protected from major injuries as possible.
There’s much more to the Volvo XC90, though, making it a good overall buy in the premium SUV segment. Options include six or seven-passenger seating, FWD or AWD, horsepower options from 250 hp to 400 hp, and a copious amount of luxurious upholstery and power amenities.
You’ll also find the Subaru Forester on the IIHS Top Safety Pick list, and it’s obvious that the Symmetrical AWD system that’s standard on all Forester trims is a leading reason. But the Forester also offers a plethora of driver assists and passive safety equipment that makes it a logical choice. That includes DriverFocus and EyeSight driver assist systems, class-leading visibility, high seating position, and available Reverse Automatic Braking and Subaru Rear/Side Vehicle Detection.
Newer Subaru Forester safety features also include steering responsive headlights that move with the road’s curves. Its BOXER engine and Lineartronic transmission are designed to break away in a collision and tuck under the passenger compartment, not into it. And those are only the notable safety features; it has all the usual airbags and structural tech too.
It’s no wonder the Subaru Forester’s resale value is always so strong.
You don’t have to get fancy to drive a safe car, and budget-conscious buyers can look to another best-selling used car for secure transportation – the Toyota Corolla. If a car around $10,000 is your thought, a 2016 Corolla offers rewarding safety ratings without a big price tag. The NHTSA gave the 2016 Corolla a five-star rating, like it does most years, due to its eight airbags, traction and stability control systems, and ABS brakes.
The safety rating may come as a bit of a surprise seeing as the base-level Corolla CE doesn’t offer driver-assist tech, nor do any upper trim levels. The compact sedan is designed so well, it’s considered one of the safest cars on the road.
Highly regarded as one of the best value propositions on the family car market, the Hyundai Sonata has earned itself a position on the IIHS Top Safety Pick list. The content that comes standard on all Sonata models includes Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, and a whole host of airbags to protect in a collision. As you go up in trim levels, you’ll find additional features like blind-spot detection and Surround View Monitoring, plus the Sonata is a fantastic, stable car to drive in the first place.
The gravy on top for the Hyundai Sonata are abundant features inside like an 8-inch color touchscreen display, alloy wheels, 1-touch windows, and premium chrome trim. It gets fancy in the Limited trim with heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, proximity key, and leather upholstery among other things.