Cheapest Safest Automobiles

What’s the safest car for the least amount of money?

We took the winners of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s” Safety Picks of the Year”, looked up the prices on Vehix and there you have it: The Cheapest Safest 2007 Cars, Mini-Vans and SUVs. You’re welcome.

Cheapest Safest Mini-Van:

2007 Kia Sedona MSRP: $20,495.00

Runner Up:

2007 Hyundai Entourage MSRP: $23,795.00

Cheapest Safest Car:

2007 Subaru Legacy MSRP: $20,495.00*
*Tested with optional electronic stability control not included in MSRP.

Runner Up:
2007 Saab 9-3 MSRP: $26,170.00**
**The Saab 9-3 has standard electronic stability control and a better basic warranty than the Subaru (4 Years/50,000 Miles vs 3 Years/36,000 Miles.)

Cheapest Safest Mid-Sized SUV:

2007 Honda Pilot MSRP: $27,095.00

Runner Up:

2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca MSRP: $29,995.00

Cheapest Safest Small SUV:

2007 Honda CR-V MSRP: $20,600.00

Runner Up:

2007 Subaru Forester MSRP: $21,195.00***
***Tested with optional electronic stability control not included in the MSRP.

The IIHS says that about 50% of fatal accidents involve only one car. “Equipping vehicles with ESC can reduce the risk of involvement in these crashes by more than 50 percent.” Be careful out there! —MEGHANN MARCO

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety


Edit Your Comment

  1. Sam Glover says:

    In other words, cheap cars are not usually safe. Except the Sedona, which is kind of a standout in this regard.

  2. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    If memory serves, Subaru plans to offer ESP only on high-end models, at least at first. The cheapest model with ESP will probably be brushing up against $30k.

    Going only by cost to purchase, I’d also consider the Hyundai Sonata (six airbags + ESP standard), and Toyota Camry (optional ESP on base models). The VW Jetta also offers ESP, although I’m unsure if it’s standard on all models. The Accord requires you to buy the V6 model to get ESP.

  3. TheUpMyAssPlayers says:

    Good god, if 20 grand is cheap I’m getting old.

  4. mfergel says:

    I guess you’re saying cheapest safe cars. Reality is, no cheap cars are really all that safe. Although, it’s my understanding the new Nissan Versa did fairly well in safety tests (at least the one with side impact bags). You can get one of those for around $15,000…..but, I guess I’m getting old as I don’t find some of these vehicles cheap.

  5. nweaver says:

    Also, if you want a REAL cheap car, the Fit is a good choice: standard airbags, standard ABS, and agile enough that lack of ESP is not as big a deal.

  6. rdm says:

    Subarus are inexpensive, great cars. Very safe. My Outback Wagon was totaled and I could still drive it around for another week before I took it into the shop. Sandwiched between two cars.

  7. Safe SUV is a contradiction in terms.

    The driver may be safe, assuming they don’t roll-over, but the driver they hit is more likely to be dead…unless it’s another SUV. I don’t know about you but I don’t feel that comfortable when I notice how half of these monstervehicles are designed to collide well above my small vehicle’s hood, and thus maximize the chance that Mr. Hummer’s bumper will be redecorating my skull.

    It was nice to see the SUV drivers in some pain when gas hit 3 bucks, though. Can’t wait till it happens again.

  8. I bought an ’06 Mitsubishi Outlander because of a post like this (and other research last year) It is one of the only 4 cylinder AWD vehicles that has side impact airbags and gets decent MPG ratings…

    The 07 version is a beast.. no wonders it didn’t make it to this list. My ’06 is the same size as my finance’s 03 Lancer… the 07 towers above both.

  9. I would have to mention that Mini-Vans are not safe either. Now if you compare them to OTHER mini-vans, then yeah, some are SAFER than others. But just because they are advertised as safest in their class does NOT make it a safe vehicle to haul your family around in. What a crock.

    No offense Meghann (and I spelled your name wrong a couple weeks ago, sorry) but I would beg to differ about ANY of these vehicles being “Safe”. Honestly, calling something safe that kills 39,189 people in the year 2005 is a lie in my book. But maybe if we keep giving out awards and commendations for these tools for being safe, more people will buy and use them?

    Am I just trolling here? Or do I actually have a point? Well, I guess after further reflection my tone does seem a bit preachy. Oh well. I never take myself TOO seriously anyway.

  10. Paul D says:

    The CR-V is “small”?

    There’s something wrong when you have to qualify that it’s “small for an SUV”. I think the CR-V is freakin’ enormous.

  11. “There’s something wrong when you have to qualify that it’s “small for an SUV”. I think the CR-V is freakin’ enormous.”

    It’s small because it’s built on a car chassis, rather than a truck chassis like most SUVs. Which also makes it somewhat safer because car chassis are usually a single piece (unibody) while truck chassis are often built in two parts (body-on-frame), and more likely to come apart in an accident.

    I would withdraw 75% of my objections to SUVs if people had to get light-truck licensed to drive them. There is no other “not-car” vehicle you’re allowed to drive with “just” a car license. People who want to drive SUVs should have to pass a light-truck safety test, not a car test, and do a light-truck driving test, not a car test. Hopefully it would scare off some of the absolute idiots and teach some of the more responsible SUV drivers how to DRIVE A LIGHT TRUCK instead of acting like it’s a damn car.

  12. josh1701 says:

    As a new SUV driver (Ford Escape), I have to second Eyebrows McGee’s comments, especially after driving a Honda Civic hatchback for 10 years. (I wouldn’t have gotten a new car if it wasn’t for an accident that led my insurance company to declare my car a total loss. Believe me, I was planning on driving it for at least five more years!)

    There is a difference between driving a SUV and a car. Whenever I get behind the wheel of my wife’s Saturn sedan, it’s a big adjustment. I got the SUV for several reasons including the cargo space, the higher driving view, and because a SUV is going to fare better in an accident than a car.

    I know that’s selfish but I actually drive the SUV safer than a car because I’m concerned about rollovers. I did get the side airbags, which, unfortunately, isn’t standard on the Escape.

  13. Sam Glover says:

    I’m not so sure SUVs are going to fare better in an accident. In a fender-bender, maybe, but I seem to recall a study by the government showing that SUV drivers are mor… in an accident than car drivers.

    Minivans, however, are safer than cars, it seems.

    And yes, the Nissan Versa was the only subcompact to get a Good rating in CR’s testing. But then again, driving a subcompact in a world full of SUVs is kind of like a death wish.

    A mid-size sedan or wagon, or else a minivan, are still your best bet if safety is your first priority.

  14. pestie says:

    There is no other “not-car” vehicle you’re allowed to drive with “just” a car license.

    The specifics vary by state, but here in Florida, you can drive, say, a box truck up to 26,000 GVWR with a standard driver’s license. It says so right here on my license.

  15. tz says:

    Subarus (I have a ’98 which I bought new, and am eyeing a 2006 orphan at my dealer) have anti-lock brakes and I forget what they call their all-wheel-drive system but it is probably does things as well as some ESC systems on cars that don’t drive all four wheels. In some ways ESC incorporates what the brake and AWD systems are already doing on a Subaru.

    Interesting that three Subarus made the list. So they both evade crashes well, and hold up well when the evasion fails.