Here's 16 plush and posh sedans that not only offer top occupant protection, but can help drivers avoid getting into collisions.
Logic would dictate that luxury cars should be among the safest rides on the road – that hefty sticker price has to count for something, right? In fact, data compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) bears this out, as 16 luxury sedans from the 2017 model year – the most in any new-vehicle segment – offer top occupant protection and accident avoidance capabilities.
That means each has earned top scores in all five of the IIHS’ crash tests, including front, side, roof strength, head restraint performance, and the challenging small overlap frontal test that replicates hitting a tree or pole. What’s more, they further offer “Superior-rated” forward auto-braking crash protection systems that can help drivers avoid a crash or substantially reduce speeds in two separate tests conducted at 12 and 25 mph. Several other luxury models aced all five crash tests, but didn’t make the cut because their forward collision systems received lesser “Advanced” or “Basic” scores.
One might expect these opulent sedans would include forward auto-braking as standard equipment at their lofty prices, and indeed forward auto-braking is included with half the model lines listed below. Where it’s optional, forward auto-braking is usually offered bundled with other features in what can be a costly package (as a worst-case example, you have to spend at least an extra $9,410 to get it on a Mercedes-Benz E-Class). We’re noting how forward auto-braking is available with each of the “safest” luxury cars listed below, along with the minimum out-the-door pricing (including the destination charge) when the vehicle is so equipped. (Note that the IIHS doesn’t rank low-volume models, which means you won’t find any of the industry's costliest luxury cars listed here).
1. Acura ILX
Acura’s smallest luxury sedan can be fitted with the Collision Mitigation Braking System via either the AcuraWatch Plus or Technology Plus Packages; price as equipped $30,420.
2. Acura RLX
Acura’s Collision Mitigation Braking System comes standard across the line with the automaker’s stately and roomy flagship sedan; price as equipped $55,400.
Alfa’s seductive siren of a sedan is at its most protective when fitted with the optional Forward Collision Warning Plus system that’s part of the Driver Assist Dynamic Plus Package (and, at that, only on models built after May 2017); price as equipped $41,290.
4. Audi A3
Audi’s Pre Sense Front auto-braking system comes standard across the line with this engaging small and sporty sedan/cabriolet combo; price as equipped $32,150.
5. Audi A4
The Audi Pre Sense City forward auto-braking system is standard on the compact S4 sedan and can help prevent collisions with pedestrians and other vehicles at up to 52 mph; price as equipped $38,250.
6. BMW 5 Series
The midsize Beemer sedan is fun to drive and can help a motorist avoid collisions when equipped with the optional Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation that’s included with the Driving Assistance Plus Package; price as equipped $55,395.
7. Genesis G80
Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection comes standard with the roomy and crisply styled G80 luxury sedan; price as equipped $42,375.
8. Genesis G90
The flagship of Hyundai’s upscale Genesis line offers a dizzying array of upscale features and includes the Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection system as standard equipment; price as equipped $69,075.
9. Infiniti Q70
The big Infiniti sedan is engineered to help prevent crashes when equipped with the available Forward Emergency Braking system that’s included with other safety features – including reverse auto-braking – in the Technology Package; price as equipped $59,760.
10. Lexus ES 350
Lexus’ Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection comes standard with this safe, sound, and smooth-riding midsize luxury sedan; price as equipped $39,895.
Lincoln’s latest large luxury sedan can be fitted with just about every feature imaginable, including the optional Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Protection system that’s part of the Technology Package; price as equipped $55,065.
12. Lincoln MKZ
The midsize MKZ luxury sedan can be equipped with the optional Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection system on most models as part of the Technology Package; price as equipped $40,240.
13. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
The optional Pre-Safe Brake with Pedestrian Recognition system is available as part of the Premium 4 Package, but it’s costly at over $8,600; price as equipped $49,725.
At this price, forward auto-braking should come standard, but what’s called the Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function is otherwise optional on Mercedes’ midsize sedan as part of the stiffly priced Premium 3 Package; price as equipped $62,555.
Volvo’s low-speed City Safety auto-braking system comes standard on this midsize sedan/wagon combo, but for added protection choose the optional high-speed Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection system as part of the Technology Package (it’s standard on Inscription, Platinum, and R-Design trims); price as equipped $38,395.
16. Volvo S90
The low-speed City Safety auto-braking system comes standard with the automaker’s flagship sedan and it can auto-brake to avoid hitting other cars, pedestrians, bicyclists, and (given its Scandinavian heritage) large animals like deer and elk; price as equipped $47,945.