Safest 2016 Sedans | Edmunds

Safest 2016 Sedans


If you're shopping for a family sedan, safety is undoubtedly high on your list of must-have features. But it's not always easy to sort out which cars are the very safest. There are two testing organizations that do different kinds of crash tests and can issue different ratings. Further, new safety features are debuting in cars every model year, changing our traditional definitions of what makes a car safe.

To make safe-car shopping easier, Edmunds brings you this list, which shows the 2016 sedans that have received the highest rating, Top Safety Pick+, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the top five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's 5-Star Safety Ratings testing. NHTSA does not test all cars, however, so this list includes a few 2016 vehicles that have not been tested by NHTSA but that have received IIHS' Top Safety Pick+ rating.

Crash Tests Aren't the Only Measure
Crash testing was once the primary standard used to judge vehicle safety. But that's changing. In addition to testing cars for how well they perform in crashes, NHTSA and IIHS now also recommend that car shoppers look for vehicles with "active" safety equipment: technology that is meant to help drivers avoid getting into accidents. IIHS awards its Top Safety Pick+ rating to vehicles with front crash protection systems that include automatic emergency braking. NHTSA does not currently use crash-avoidance technology in determining its star ratings, but its ratings do show shoppers which vehicles have lane departure warning systems, forward collision warning systems or rearview cameras.

Of course, all the sedans on this list have the safety equipment that is required by federal law: front airbags for the driver and front passenger, tire pressure monitoring systems and electronic stability control, which incorporates antilock brakes and traction control.

We've listed some of the key safety features in each car as well as safety-related extras that might interest you. And when Edmunds has tested a car, we show the results of our own brake tests. The cars are listed alphabetically within three size groups: compact and subcompact sedans, midsize sedans and full-size sedans.

Look for our list of 2017 safest sedans soon.

Compact and Subcompact Sedans

2016 Acura ILX (compact sedan)

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with optional front crash prevention available in the AcuraWatch Plus package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Active front head restraints
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Something extra: The multiview rear camera on the ILX features a regular view to help spot obstacles when backing up, but it also has a wide-angle view, useful when pulling out of parking spaces, and a top-down view, which provides guidance for parallel parking.

Edmunds brake testing: An Acura ILX came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Honda Civic (compact sedan)

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash prevention available in the Honda Sensing Package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane keeping assist

Something extra: The Honda Sensing safety package, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking, is standard on the Touring trim level and optional on other Civic models.

Edmunds brake testing: A Honda Civic came to a stop from 60 mph in 117 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Mazda 3 (compact sedan)

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with optional front crash protection available in the Technology package for the 3s Grand Touring trim level)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Active front head restraints
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Something extra: In addition to its safety features, the Technology package includes automatic high-beam headlight control and a fuel economy extra: Mazda's i-Eloop regenerative braking system.

Edmunds brake testing: A Mazda 3 came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is average.

2016 Scion iA (subcompact sedan)

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+

NHTSA:

Not Rated

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Rear airbags
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Rearview camera

Something extra: The presence of a forward collision warning and automatic braking system is rare for a small sedan as an option, let alone as a standard feature.

Edmunds brake testing: A Scion iA came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet, which is average.

2016 Subaru Impreza (compact sedan)

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with optional EyeSight front crash protection available on the 2.0i Limited trim level)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Active front head restraints
  • Rearview camera

Optional

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning

Something extra: In addition to its other safety features, Subaru's optional EyeSight system includes pre-collision throttle management, which detects objects in front that you are likely to hit. It will reduce the power from the engine to minimize impact force and front impact damage.

Edmunds brake testing: An Impreza came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is average.

2016 Subaru WRX (sport compact sedan)

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with optional EyeSight front crash prevention available in the WRX Limited trim level)

NHTSA:

Not Tested

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Active front head restraints
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Something extra: Subaru's Starlink connected services includes automatic collision notification service, emergency assistance, stolen vehicle recovery and remote door lock/unlock.

Edmunds brake testing: A six-speed manual WRX Premium came to a stop from 60 mph in 106 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Volkswagen Jetta (compact sedan)

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash protection available in the Driver Assistance package for the SEL trim level)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Active front head restraints

Optional:
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rearview camera

Something extra: The optional Lighting Package for the SEL trim level includes bi-xenon headlights with adaptive front lighting system and LED daytime running lights.

Edmunds brake testing: A Jetta came to a stop from 60 mph in 114 feet, which is shorter than average.

Midsize Sedans

2016 Audi A3

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash prevention available in the Audi Pre Sense Basic package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Front knee airbags
  • Rear seat side airbags

Optional:

  • Rear side airbags
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Rearview camera
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring

Something extra: An Audi A3 with the optional 18-inch summer tires stopped in just 105 feet, considerably improving the braking performance.

Edmunds brake testing: An Audi A3 came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Audi A6

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash prevention available in the Pre Sense Plus package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating (front-wheel-drive model only)

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Front knee airbags
  • Rear seat side airbags

Optional:

  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Rearview camera
  • Night-vision camera

Something extra: The standard Audi Pre Sense system can warn the driver, tension the seatbelts and close the windows if a potential collision is detected, while Pre Sense Rear flashes the brake lights as a warning if the vehicle is in danger of being rear-ended.

Edmunds brake testing: An Audi A6 came to a stop from 60 mph in 111 feet, which is average.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash prevention available in the Driver Confidence Package II)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Front knee airbags
  • Rear seat side airbags

Optional:

  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rearview camera
  • Pedestrian alert

Something extra: Also standard on the Malibu is the OnStar telematics system, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.

Edmunds brake testing: A Chevrolet Malibu came to a stop from 60 mph in 113 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Chrysler 200

Safest 2016 Sedans

Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with optional front crash protection available in the SafetyTec package on the C trim level)

NHTSA 5-star rating (front-wheel-drive model only)

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Front knee airbags

Optional:
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rearview camera

Something extra: In addition to its safety features, the SafetyTec package for the C trim level includes ParkSense, an automated parallel and perpendicular parking system.

Edmunds brake testing: The Chrysler 200 came to a stop from 60 mph in 129 feet, which is longer than average.

2016 Honda Accord

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with optional front crash protection available in the Honda Sensing package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key safety features:

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Active front head restraints
  • Rearview camera
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking

Optional:

  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist

Something extra: Honda's Lane Watch blind-spot monitoring system switches the 7.7-inch screen's display to a low and wide view of the car's passenger side when the right turn signal is engaged.

Edmunds brake testing: An Accord sedan came to a stop from 60 mph in 116 feet, which is average.

2016 Hyundai Sonata

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with front crash protection available as an option on the Limited trim level and standard on the Limited 2.0T)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Rearview camera

Optional:
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Something extra: The optional lane change assist feature measures the closing speed of an approaching vehicle in the adjacent lane to determine if changing lanes is safe and if it's not, gives the driver an audible and visual warning.

Edmunds brake testing: A Hyundai Sonata came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet, which is average.

2016 Infiniti Q70

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash prevention available as part of the Technology Package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating (rear-wheel-drive model only)

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Active front head restraints
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Rear collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist

Something extra: The Performance Tire and Wheel Package and the Sport Package include upgraded wheels, tires and brakes, which can not only improve handling but also reduce stopping distances.

Edmunds brake testing: An Infiniti Q70 came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is average.

2016 Kia Optima

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash prevention available as part of the SX Technology Package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • 360-degree surround-view camera

Something extra: Most Optima trim levels include the Uvo telematics system, which includes roadside assistance, collision notification and driver restrictions and tracking for secondary drivers.

Edmunds brake testing: A Kia Optima came to a stop from 60 mph in 112 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Lexus ES 350

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash prevention available as part of the Lexus Safety Sense+ package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Front knee airbags
  • Rear seat side airbags
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Pedestrian alert

Something extra: The Lexus Safety Sense+ package also includes an intelligent high-beam headlamp system that provides added illumination when the road ahead is clear and then temporarily switches to low-beam when it senses another vehicle ahead.

Edmunds brake testing: A Lexus ES350 came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet, which is average.

2016 Mazda 6

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with front crash protection, optional on the Touring and standard on the Grand Touring trim levels)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Active front head restraints

Optional:

  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Something extra: A rearview camera is standard on the Mazda 6, except for the Sport trim level vehicle with a manual transmission.

Edmunds brake testing: A Mazda 6 came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet, which is average.

2016 Nissan Altima

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash prevention available as part of the Technology Package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rearview camera

Something extra: The available NissanConnect services include automatic collision notification, emergency assistance and stolen vehicle locating services.

Edmunds brake testing: A Nissan Altima came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is average.

2016 Nissan Maxima

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with optional front crash protection available on the SL and higher trim levels)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Something extra: The top-of-the-line Platinum trim includes a driver drowsiness monitor and NissanConnect, whose features include automatic collision notification, remote start, emergency calling and stolen vehicle location.

Edmunds brake testing: A Maxima came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is average.

2016 Subaru Legacy

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with optional EyeSight front crash protection available on the 2.5i Premium trim level and above)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Seat cushion airbags

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Something extra: The Legacy's seat cushion airbags deploy from the seat bottom to help keep occupants in place in a frontal collision.

Edmunds brake testing: A Legacy came to a stop from 60 mph in 114 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Toyota Camry

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with optional front crash protection, available in the Technology package on the XSE and XLE trim levels)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front and rear side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Front knee airbags
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Something extra: The XLE trim level offers the optional Safety Connect system, which adds automatic collision notification, an emergency assist button and a stolen-vehicle locator.

Edmunds brake testing: A Camry came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is average.

2016 Volkswagen Passat

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with optional front crash protection available on the SE trim level and above)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Something extra: VW Car-Net optional telematics system includes automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle location, speed alerts and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set boundaries for teenage drivers).

Edmunds brake testing: A Passat came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is average.

2016 Volvo S60

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+

NHTSA 5-star overall rating (front-wheel-drive model only)

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Slow-speed collision avoidance with automatic emergency braking
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Pedestrian alert with automatic emergency braking

Something extra: Also standard in the S60 is Volvo's On Call system, which includes emergency assistance, automatic crash notification and stolen vehicle assistance.

Edmunds brake testing: A Volvo S60 came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Volvo S80

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+

NHTSA:

Not Rated

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Slow-speed collision avoidance system with automatic emergency braking

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rearview camera
  • Pedestrian alert with automatic emergency braking

Something extra: Also standard in the S80 is Volvo's On Call system which includes emergency assistance, automatic crash notification and stolen vehicle assistance.

Edmunds brake testing: Not tested

Full-Size Sedans

2016 Acura RLX

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Something extra: In addition to features such as forward collision warning and lane departure warning, the Technology and Advance Packages also include road departure intervention, which helps prevent the car from leaving a paved surface.

Edmunds brake testing: An Acura RLX came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is average.

2016 Hyundai Genesis

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash prevention available as part of the Tech Package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating (rear-wheel-drive model only)

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Active front head restraints
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Something extra: The Genesis also comes standard with Hyundai's Blue Link 2.0 connectivity suite, which features automatic crash notification, an SOS button, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and remote start, geo-fencing (allowing owners to set limits for teenage drivers). Also on the Genesis is a stolen vehicle slowdown/immobilization and recovery system.

Edmunds brake testing: A Hyundai Genesis came to a stop from 60 mph in 109 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Toyota Avalon

Safest 2016 Sedans

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash prevention available as part of the Toyota Safety Sense package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Front knee airbags
  • Rear seat side airbags
  • Rearview camera

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Pedestrian alert with automatic emergency braking

Something extra: Toyota's available Safety Connect service includes roadside assistance, stolen vehicle location and automatic collision notification.

Edmunds brake testing: A Toyota Avalon came to a stop from 60 mph in 127 feet, which is longer than average.

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