When shopping for a new vehicle, a buyer must consider many things including the purchase price, available options, gas mileage and intended use. The one consideration that many buyers overlook is the safety rating for the vehicle. Depending on the source, vehicles are tested and evaluated on different standards but I prefer to use the ratings at Safercar.gov because they are an independent, government rating site that evaluates vehicles based on standards: frontal driver rating; frontal passenger rating; side driver rating; side rear passenger rating; and rollover drive rating. The highest rating a vehicle can receive in any category is 5 stars. According to New Car Assessment Program, the following passenger cars received the highest ratings for their 2010 models.
2010 Acura RL with side air bags – The 2010 Acura received a 5-star rating all across the board in every category. All categories received the highest rating placing this vehicle at the top of my list of safest vehicles for 2010. Neither Kelley Blue Book nor NADA has the prices for 2010 models; however, based on the 2009 models the suggested retail price will begin around $46,500 for a base package.
2010 Ford Mustang with side air bags — The Ford Mustang also received a 5-star rating all across the board in every category. This Ford and the Acura above are the only two vehicles on the list of twenty that received all 5-star ratings. The Ford Mustang is known for quality and performance and now for its safety. The suggested retail price appears to be approximately $21,845.00 for the base model with manual transmission according to Kelley Blue Book.
The following three cars rated 5-stars in all categories except the rollover test. In the rollover test, they all rated a 4-star rating putting them above the remaining cars on the list.
2010 Hyundai Sonata with side airbags – The 2010 Hyundai Sonata is a great little family car and is very affordable. Based on the 2009 retail sales price, the base edition will begin at approximately $20,595 according to Kelley Blue Book. This is for the GLS Sedan with standard options.
2010 Lincoln MKS with side airbags— Lincoln is a solid vehicle and has quality ratings and reliable performance. Lincolns tend to cost more but also have more standard features than other vehicles. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price according to Kelley Blue Book is $41,695.00 for the base package. This Lincoln has a powerful V6, 3.7 liter engine for quality performance on the highway and in the city.
2010 Toyota Camry with side airbags – Toyota is a trusted name in automobiles and I have personally owned several. Even though the engine is a 4-cylinder, 2.4 liter automatic, these cars have a lot of get-up-and-go for your dollar. Kelley Blue Book has the 2010 model listed at $21,195.00 suggested retail price.
Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
United States Department of Transportation