Safest 2016 SUVS | Edmunds

Safest 2016 SUVS


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

To make safe-car shopping easier, Edmunds brings you this list, which shows the 2016 SUVs 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 SUVs for how well they perform in crashes, NHTSA and IIHS now also recommend that 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 SUVs 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 vehicle, we show the results of our own brake tests. The SUVs are listed alphabetically within two size groups: compact and subcompact SUVs and midsize SUVs.

Look for our list of safest 2017 SUVs soon.

Subcompact and Compact SUVs

2016 BMW X1 (compact)

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash protection, available in the Driver Assistance Plus package)

NHTSA: Not rated

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Full-length side curtain airbags
  • Front knee airbags
  • Active front head restraints
  • Hill descent control

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Rearview camera
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Pedestrian detection

Something extra: The optional Technology Package includes a head-up display and real-time traffic information, as well as BMW's Remote Services, which provide connectivity to emergency responders when needed.

Edmunds brake testing: A BMW X1 came to a stop from 60 mph in 109 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Fiat 500X (subcompact)

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (With optional front crash protection available in the following packages: Easy Collection 7, Lounge Collection 6, Trekking Collection 7, Trekking Plus Collection 2)

NHTSA: Not rated

Key Safety Features

Standard:

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

Optional:

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

Something extra: There are five available models of the 2016 Fiat 500X, and each offers its own suite of standard and optional safety features.

Edmunds brake testing: A Fiat 500X came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is average.

2016 Honda CR-V (compact)

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (With optional front crash protection, part of the collision mitigation braking system on the Touring trim level)

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
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Pedestrian detection

Something extra: With Honda's LaneWatch system, a camera displays passenger-side blind-spot activity on the CR-V's 7-inch touchscreen. It's standard on all models except the LX and SE trim levels.

Edmunds brake testing: A Honda CR-V came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Hyundai Tucson (compact)

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (With optional front crash protection, available in the Ultimate Package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Active front head restraints
  • Rearview camera
  • Hill hold assist with descent control

Optional:

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

Something extra: The Blue Link telematics suite, standard — and only available — on the Limited trim level, includes emergency safety assistance, as well as a number of other smartphone-based features.

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

2016 Mazda CX-3 (subcompact)

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash protection, available as part of the i-Activsense 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
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Something extra: The Smart City Brake Support system, available on the CX-3 Grand Touring trim level, operates at low speeds, warning the driver and then automatically applying the brakes to avoid a front-end collision.

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

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander (compact)

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash protection, available as part of the SEL Touring Package or Premium Package and the GT-AWC Touring Package)

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

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Hill start assist

Optional:

  • Rearview camera
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning

Something extra: A rearview camera is standard on all trim levels except the base Outlander ES.

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

2016 Subaru Forester (compact)

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash protection, available as part of the EyeSight Driver Assist 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
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Reverse automatic braking

Something extra: The Starlink Safety Plus system, standard on most Forester trim levels, includes emergency assistance and automatic collision notification. It can be upgraded to the Starlink Safety Plus and Security Plus system, which adds features such as remote door unlocking, vehicle location, stolen vehicle recovery and alarm notification.

Edmunds brake testing: A Subaru Forester came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Toyota RAV4 (compact)

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash protection, available as part of the Safety Sense 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
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Pedestrian detection
  • 360-degree camera system

Something extra: The new 360-degree camera system — Toyota calls it a Bird's Eye View Monitor — includes four cameras located on the front, the side mirrors and the rear. It's a feature increasingly common on luxury vehicles but rare among mainstream brands.

Edmunds brake testing: A Toyota RAV4 came to a stop from 60 mph in 125 feet, which is average.

Midsize SUVs

2016 Acura MDX

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash protection, available as part of the Advance Package or the AcuraWatch Plus Package)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

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

Optional:

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

Something extra: The MDX road departure mitigation system essentially combines the functions of the camera-based lane keeping system and the automatic braking system to help keep the vehicle from drifting off the road.

Edmunds brake testing: An Acura MDX came to a stop from 60 mph in 122 feet, which is average.

2016 Acura RDX

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash protection, available as part of the Advance Package or 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 departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist

Something extra: The AcuraWatch Plus package also includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.

Edmunds brake testing: An Acura RDX came to a stop from 60 mph in 122 feet, which is average.

2016 Honda Pilot

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash protection, available as part of the 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 warning
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Rear cross traffic alerts
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Road departure mitigation

Something extra: Many of the optional features are part of the Honda Sensing Package, which is standard on the Touring and Elite trim levels and available on the EX and EX-L models.

Edmunds brake testing: A Honda Pilot came to a stop from 60 mph in 125 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Infiniti QX60

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash protection, available as part of the Deluxe Technology 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 monitor
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • 360-degree camera system
  • Pedestrian detection

Something extra: The available Infiniti InTouch service adds features such as automatic collision notification, remote door unlocking, alarm notification, stolen vehicle location, and speed and geo-fencing notifications.

Edmunds brake testing: Not rated

2016 Lexus NX

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash protection, available as part of the Pre-Collision System)

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Front passenger cushion airbag
  • Rearview camera
  • Hill start assist

Optional:

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

Something extra: Also standard on the NX is Lexus Enform Service Connect, which includes automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle location and an emergency assist button, as well as remote-vehicle status reports and maintenance alerts through a website or smartphone.

Edmunds brake testing: A Lexus NX came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Lincoln MKX

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (with optional front crash protection, available as part of the Driver Assistance 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 monitor system
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Pedestrian detection
  • 360-degree camera
  • Drowsy driver warning

Something extra: A standard feature on the MKX is the programmable MyKey system, which allows parents to define parameters such as vehicle speed and stereo volume for teen drivers.

Edmunds brake testing: A Lincoln MKX came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+

NHTSA: Not rated

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Forward collision warning
  • Hill start assist
  • Drowsy driver warning

Optional:

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

Something extra: The standard Mbrace Connect telematics system includes automatic collision notification, emergency assistance, stolen vehicle location,  alarm notification, remote door lock/unlock and geo-fencing, which can issue an alert when a car has crossed an owner-set boundary. Great for parents who want to keep tabs on their young drivers' travels.

Edmunds brake testing: A Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class came to a stop from 60 mph in 125 feet, which is longer than average.

2016 Nissan Murano

Safest 2016 SUVs

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

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

Key Safety Features

Standard:

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

Optional:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • 360-degree camera system
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Drowsy driver warning

Something extra: The 360-degree camera system includes a moving-object detection feature that lights up and sounds a beep if people or objects are moving near the vehicle.

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

2016 Toyota Highlander

Safest 2016 SUVs

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

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Front passenger seat-cushion airbag
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Rearview camera
  • Hill start assist

Optional:

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

Something extra: The Toyota Safety Connect telematics system, available on the XLE and standard on the Limited trim level, includes emergency assistance, stolen vehicle location and automatic collision notification.

Edmunds brake testing: A Toyota Highlander came to a stop from 60 mph in 116 feet, which is shorter than average.

2016 Volvo XC60

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+

NHTSA 5-star overall rating

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Low-speed forward collision warning with automatic braking

Optional:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Drowsy driver warning

Something extra: The XC60 also comes standard with remote start.

Edmunds brake testing: A Volvo XC60 came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, which is average.

2016 Volvo XC90

Safest 2016 SUVs

IIHS Top Safety Pick+

NHTSA 5-star overall rating (All-wheel-drive model only; front-wheel-drive model not rated)

Key Safety Features

Standard:

  • Front-seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags on all three rows
  • Rearview camera
  • Low-speed forward collision warning with automatic braking
  • Pedestrian detection

Optional:

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

Something extra: The XC90 also features Run-Off Road Protection: If the vehicle goes off the road, the seat belts automatically tighten, and the seat cushions are designed to absorb impact to protect occupants from spine injuries.

Edmunds brake testing: A Volvo XC90 came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet, which is average.

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