The Top 4 Safest Vehicles for Families
If you’re using a car primarily to transport your family around, there’s a reasonable number of things you’re probably concerned about when it comes to choosing each model. Performance is one; cost is another. But what might end up being the most important metric for families is the one that keeps everybody as safe as possible.
Fortunately, with the recent global explosion in automobile technology, the safety features available in 2019 for some of the top models are intuitive and useful. Even a cursory glance over the market reveals that the major manufacturers have been building on past experience with what works and what doesn’t work, all in order to push the boundaries of how a car can keep its occupants safe.
Safe family vehicles aren’t only jam-packed with exciting new features, however. A large part of any given model’s potential to be reliable enough for family use is the structure of the car itself. The last few years have seen the family-friendly car size industry diverge into two main categories: SUVs and mid-sized saloons. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, as is to be expected — and it goes without saying that the main deciding factor will be your own personal situation’s requirements.
In order to provide a little guidance to people on the lookout for safe family vehicles, we’ve decided to put together a list of some of 2019’s best options. In considering which cars to include on this list, we prioritized a few key elements, including the accredited safety rating of the vehicle, what kind of features it offers, and how the structure of the car influences the overall driving experience. Bear in mind that this is a list of safe family vehicles — mechanical performance, while important, isn’t the most crucial aspect of a vehicle being safe, although we’ve considered it where appropriate.
Without further ado, let’s buckle up and get into the list. Here are 2019’s 4 safest family vehicles.
1: Chrysler Pacifica
The Chrysler Pacifica is the top of our list because as far as safety goes, you’re unlikely to find a more reliable vehicle. Since 2017 when the model was first introduced it has been known as a safe car that families can trust. The 2019 version comes with a few key differences, each of which has been carefully designed not to mess too much with a winning formula. The 3.6-litre V6 engine can conjure up an impressive 287bhp in order to power the 9-speed fully automatic transmission system, making it one of the most powerful mid-sized family-friendly automobiles around. Buyers can also go for a hybrid version of the Pacifica, which makes use of electric motors in order to increase fuel efficiency and add a degree of robustness to its overall mechanical workings.
The car doesn’t lack for inbuilt safety features, either. With overhead, knee, side and front-impact airbags, the occupants can expect to feel secure no matter what angle danger may be coming from. ABS technology has been used in order to know when a wheel is struggling under braking pressure, creating a car that is significantly easier to turn while the brakes are in action — a potentially life-saving feature which is always nice to see.
Similar to a lot of its competitors, the ignition won’t work unless the original manufacturer’s key is being used. As a final touch, the seatbelts have been equipped with ‘pretensioners’ which tighten autonomously as a means of ensuring that the passengers are placed in the ideal seating position in case of a collision. As an all-round, mid-sized vehicle for families who value safety above all else, the Chrysler Pacifica is an excellent option and deserves consideration.
2: Nissan Rogue
The Nissan Rogue is a sleek and stylish SUV-type car, aimed at families who want to be able to travel in style without forgoing industry-standard safety mechanisms. Immediately identifiable thanks to the timeless design and distinctive Nissan ‘feel,’ the Rogue’s 2.5-liter flat-four engine offers up 170bhp in either a front-wheel or all-wheel drive setting (front-wheel is standard across all trims, while all-wheel is available as an optional extra). The engine really shines, though, when it comes to fuel economy. With a combined figure of 29mpg between the highway and city test settings, the Rogue is a surefire way to guarantee you’re getting enough bang for your buck when it comes to gas.
It doesn’t hold back when it comes to safety features, either. One of the most impressive applications of smart driving assistance technology is instability control, which the Rogue offers. Stability control detects when the car’s getting out of control, and either cuts back on the engine or puts the brakes into action in order to give the driver a hand with the situation. Airbags, ABS, and smart seat belt adjustments are all present and accounted for as well. There’s even a featured designed to minimize any damage done in a collision by cradling the occupant’s head, which helps to prevent whiplash injuries.
3: Hyundai Kona
One of few the family-friendly automobiles that doesn’t have an extensive lineage behind it, the Hyundai Kona is a brand-new arrival on the scene as the first in what might turn out to be a long generation of models. Hyundai themselves are one of the most reputable brands in the business, so while it’s impossible to be specific about long-term faults with the model, there’s good reason to believe it’ll turn out to be every bit as reliable as the rest of their catalogue.
Boasting a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP’s testing regime, the Kona (while appearing to look like a full-on SUV) offers the convenience and usability of a smaller car as well. The car’s skeleton has clearly been built with safety as a priority, with a robust structure helping to make the Kona break into our list of safe family vehicles. It doesn’t lack for built-in safety features either, for which it received a similarly high score. Autonomous driver aids — like lane-keeping assisted steering, and a clever monitoring system to hold off driver fatigue for as long as possible — are just one notable example of the lengths the company has gone to in order to make this car as safe as possible. Autonomous emergency braking is also included in the Premium GT flavor of the vehicle. Even so, it’s fair to say that any version of the Kona is worthy of being featured on a list of safe family vehicles.
4: Toyota Camry
The latest arrival in a long line of Camrys comes with a brand-new suite of safety features, making it a respectable choice for anybody who’s interested in getting familiar with safe family vehicles. The airbag system involves ten individual bags, evenly dispersed throughout the interior of the vehicle at carefully-chosen locations. There’s also a system available to help monitor the blindspot of your car, as well as to trigger an alert when somebody behind you is moving across traffic. Working in a largely passive role, these measures haven’t been intended to replace the driver’s own natural sense of awareness. Rather, they add a slight nudge here and there when it’s necessary, which in turn works to install good habits in the driver over a long enough period of time.
The rest of the car’s safety mechanisms come as part of Toyota’s proprietary Star Safety System, which isn’t found anywhere outside the company’s own products. Vehicle stability and traction control features are accounted for in the 2019 Camry, as are brake assistance measures (including force distribution and anti-locking safeguards). The car also includes the latest in smart stop technology. All in all, the amount of time and energy that has gone into making the Toyota Camry such a recognizable name in the industry has paid off. This is one of the safest family vehicles available in 2019, and should feature in any comprehensive round-up of the year’s major players.
As we mentioned in the introduction, the only person who really knows exactly which boxes a car needs to tick in your family situation is you. It could well be that, for reasons specific to you and your family, none of the above models are going to be the right answer. Bearing that in mind, we decided to answer the single biggest question you need to ask yourself when you begin to start comparing different models.
The goal is for you to be able to more accurately imagine exactly what you’re going to be using your car for in your day-to-day family life. The more precisely you can anticipate your own requirements, the better you’ll be able to decide which safety features are a priority for you, and which you might be best off without. Versatility matters, and if you have a good idea of exactly what kind of challenges your vehicle might face, you’ll be able to potentially save yourself a lot of trouble down the line.
Structure: SUV or Saloon?
This is probably the single biggest question you need to ask yourself, since it’ll divide the market neatly in half, saving you a ton of time and making it easier to narrow down your choices. Each kind of car has advantages and disadvantages, and it’s good to know roughly what they are.
SUVs are safer in collisions (in large part due to their size) but are more expensive to buy, run, and maintain. Another downside to using SUVs for family use is that they can be a nuisance when it comes to some of the likely stops you’ll be making. School, the city center, and parking in general are all going to present a few issues, but if you don’t live in a large city this may not be as much of an issue for you.
On the other hand, saloon-type cars offer an increased amount of manoeuvrability at a lower cost, but don’t have the same level of structural protection offered by SUVs. They don’t lack for inbuilt technological safety features, however, which help to prevent accidents before they happen, making saloons a perfectly reasonable choice when it comes to whittling down the list of safe family vehicles.
In the end, a large part of the decision for many families will come down to price. While we didn’t include it in how we evaluated the safety of these different family vehicles, the price of things nonetheless plays a huge role in how we make decisions on a day-to-day basis. The good news in the case of safe family vehicles, though, is that you won’t need to break the bank in order to be safe on the road.
Safety has been growing in importance, with the result that in a lot of cases, features which would have cost extra a few years ago now comes standard — and that’s just one example of how the market has been shifting.
We hope you enjoyed this article, and that it helps you figure out how to decide on a safe family vehicle for your particular situation. None of the four selections we made will disappoint you, but if you’d like to do your own research as well, we hope the discussion of SUVs vs. Saloons proves useful going forward.
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