Here are 10 upscale autos that ace crash tests and offer top-performing accident avoidance systems.
Luxury cars have long been considered among the safest rides on the road, in large part because this class of vehicles tends to debut the latest occupant protection and accident avoidance features, from airbags and antilock brakes in the 1980s to today’s advanced auto-braking and lane keeping systems. But, as an analysis of vehicle crash tests and other evaluations show, some top-shelf cars offer greater occupant protection and do a better job of preventing a collision than others.
We scoured the results of crash tests conducted by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), as well as the latter’s ongoing evaluation of headlamp performance and forward-collision-preventing auto-braking systems, and considered the availability of other high-tech safety features to arrive at the accompanying slideshow of the 10 safest luxury cars for the 2018 model year.
All receive top "Good" marks in the IIHS’s battery of crash tests and (except for one model that’s not yet been tested) earn perfect five-star overall crashworthiness ratings from NHTSA. Each comes standard with a forward auto-braking system that’s received a “Superior” rating from the IIHS; that means the car is able to avoid a crash or reduce speeds by at least 5 mph in two separate tests conducted at 12 and 25 mph. Each also scores an "Acceptable" or "Good" grade in headlamp performance tests, though the top-performing units in this regard are typically optional or only included on higher trim levels.
Unfortunately, the IIHS nor NHTSA only tests mainstream production vehicles, which means lower-volume flagship luxury sedans like the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and Porsche Panamera, as well as models from brands like Bentley and Rolls-Royce aren’t included here. New models also tend to get short changed here, simply because the organizations haven’t gotten around to testing them yet.