Cars with great overall crash test ratings and added safety features make a difference in lowering your car insurance premiums. When looking at vehicle crash test ratings, you need to understand what they mean. In addition, when comparing cars, look for added safety features, such as stability and traction control, braking assist, and lane detection technologies.
Find out more below about crash test ratings, preferred safety features, and other information for 2018-model-year cars.
NHTSA crash test ratings
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rates a vehicle on how it performs on their various crash tests. The tests have a star rating ranging from one to five, with a five-star rating being the best and a one-star rating being the worst. To get a crash test rating for a vehicle, NHTSA performs the following tests:
- Side barrier crash test: A side barrier crash test represents how a car performs in a side-door collision at an intersection. When testing, evaluators look at injury to the head, chest, abdomen, and pelvis.
- **Frontal crash test: ** The frontal crash test helps determine how a vehicle fares when in a head-on collision. During a frontal crash test, evaluators look at injury to the head, neck, chest, and legs of drivers and passengers.
- Side crash test: Also called a side pole crash test, the side crash test determines how well a vehicle does in a side collision with an object, such as a telephone pole. Evaluators look at the severity of injuries to the head, chest, lower spine, abdomen, and pelvis to determine the rating.
- Rollover crash test: A rollover crash test determines the likelihood of a vehicle rollover in an accident. The testing includes determining the top-heaviness of a vehicle and how likely it might tip during a severe maneuver.
Each year, the NHTSA releases ratings for cars manufactured during the next model year. The following table lists the crash test ratings from the NHTSA for top 2018 popular makes and models:
|2018 Top Cars With 5-Star Crash Test Ratings Overall|
|Year/Make/Model||MPG||Overall||Side Barrier||Frontal Crash||Side Crash||Rollover|
|2018 Acura RDX||19/27||5||5||5||5||4|
|2018 Acura TLX||20/32||5||5||5||5||5|
|2018 Audi S6||18/27||5||5||5||5||5|
|2018 BMW 5 Series||27/31||5||5||4||5||5|
|2018 Chevrolet Impala||22/30||5||5||5||5||4|
|2018 Genesis G80||19/27||5||5||5||5||5|
|2018 Mazda 3||27/36||5||5||5||5||4|
2018 Acura RDX
Coming in both a front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) version, the 2018 Acura RDX gets an overall crash rating of 5, according to NHTSA. Equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine, the RDX gets a combined 22 MPG. The RDX also offers a Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), a rear view camera, and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA).
2018 Acura TLX
The Acura TLX comes in a FWD and an AWD version, both which feature a 3.5-liter V6 engine. The TLX gets an overall crash test rating of 5 and a combined 24 MPG. Other safety features include VSA, Agile Handling Assist, and CMBS with head-up warning.
2018 Audi A6
With a combined 22 MPG, the 2018 Audi S6 has a perfect 5-star crash test rating. Coming with a 4.0-liter V8 engine, the S6 also offers a Quattro AWD, driveline traction control, and parking assist. The S6 also features an anti-lock brake system (ABS) and stability control to improve handling when driving.
2018 BMW 5 Series
Featuring a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo engine, the 2018 BMW 5 Series gets a combined 29 MPG. This sedan also utilizes rear-wheel drive (RWD) to take advantage of its 248 horsepower and 310 pounds of torque. Some of the safety features that gave the 5 Series a 5-star overall crash test rating include Lane Departure Warning, a rollover protection system, and electronic stability control.
2018 Chevrolet Impala
The 2018 Chevy Impala features a 3.6-liter dual-overhead camshaft (DOHC) engine that gives the car 305 horsepower. Garnering a 5-star overall crash test rating, the Impala also features StabiliTrak electronic, electronic traction control, stability control, and a combined 26 MPG.
2018 Genesis G80
The 3.3-liter turbocharged engine of the 2018 Genesis G80 offers an MPG of 19 in the city and 27 on the highway. With a 5-star overall crash test rating, the G80 carries such safety features as a brake assist system with Electronic Brake Distribution, Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), and Blind Spot Detection.
2018 Mazda 3
The FWD 2018 Mazda 3 gets a combined 31 MPG and has a 5-star overall crash test rating. Some of the safety features that helped it gain such a high rating include ABS with brake assist, traction control, and stability control technologies.
When buying a car, make sure to check out the crash test safety ratings found on the NHTS Website. In addition to providing a safer driving experience, certain safety features can actually reduce your car insurance premiums.