Safest Cars of 2016 Part I: Acura ILX, Subaru WRX and More Top Picks From the Minicars and Small Cars Category

A good taste in cars might be a vague concept, but virtually every car owner wants a vehicle that is designed for road safety. The search for safest cars of 2016 is not a complicated one. As a non-profit organization, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) evaluates cars on the market in an attempt to reduce the losses from crashes that occur across the nation.

IIHS tests are carefully designed to evaluate how well a car protects its passengers in the event of a crash. In addition to the aspect of crashworthiness, the IIHS also examines crash avoidance and mitigation with regards to the technology that can prevent the crash or reduce its impact. Accordingly, vehicles can be rated as poor, acceptable or good.

Good vehicles fall into two categories: Top Safety Picks (TSP) and Top Safety Picks + (TSP+). Both categories have good ratings in five crashworthiness tests; however, their front crash prevention ratings differ. TSPs have earned basic ratings, whereas TSPs+ have achieved an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.

So far, 48 vehicles have been awarded a TSP+ rating for 2016. Due to the large number of these vehicles, we will do a series of articles covering several cars from each category. The following are some of the winners of the TSP+ award from the mini and small car category:

2016 Mini Cooper

Safest Cars of 2016: Mini Cooper. / CC0 1.0. / CC0 1.0.

Mini Cooper proves that safety comes in all shapes and sizes. The post-November 2015 hardtop two-door model has the optional front crash prevention which earned this compact beauty a TSP+ rating. Its small overlap front, roof strength, head restraints and even seat design make the 2016 Mini Cooper a safe haven on the road.

The safety features of the 2016 Mini Cooper do not compromise the appeal of the ride. This fuel-efficient vehicle reaches maximum speed of 130 to 153 mph and comes with horsepower capabilities that range from 134 to 228 depending on the model.

Priced affordably between $20,000 and $ 30,900, the 2016 also garners high favor with the IIHS and car buyers alike because of its go-kart handling, TwinPower turbo engine and three driving modes. The reliability, safety and performance features of the 2016 Mini Cooper are wrapped in a sleek, streamlined appearance that is both recognizable and refreshing.

2016 Acura ILX 

Safest Cars of 2016:  Acura ILX. Photo by Mr.choppers / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo by Mr.choppers / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Just like the 2016 Mini Cooper, the 2016 Acura ILX has the highest safety ratings when equipped with the optional front crash prevention. Other remarkable safety features include seat and head restraint design, roof strength, side, as well as small and moderate overlap front, all of which add value to the unmatched performance features.

The 2016 Acura ILX features a 201-hp, 2.4 liter, i-VTEC four-cylinder engine connected to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The tech features, such as Bluetooth and EPS capabilities, combined with a spacious cabin offer a pleasurable ride in this luxury sedan.

Every model of the 2016 Acura ILX comes with side curtain airbags for increased safety as well as a Collision Mitigation Braking System, (CMBS) and a rear cross traffic monitor. Starting at $ 27,990, this vehicle represents a small price to pay for enhanced road safety.

2016 Honda Civic 2-door Coupe

Safest Cars of 2016: Honda Civic Coupe. Photo by Bull-Doser on Wikimedia Commons / CC0 1.0.

Photo by Bull-Doser on Wikimedia Commons / CC0 1.0.

The 2016 Honda Civic 2-door coupe has all the safety features that the 2016 Mini Cooper and Acura ILX possess. In addition, its optional front crash prevention is obligatory when it comes to winning a TSP+ rating.

When buying a new Civic, you get to choose between a turbocharged engine that produces 174 hp and a regular 158 hp, 2-liter normally-aspirated engine. The 2016 Civic turns an ordinary ride into a multi-media experience, providing countless technology features designed to enhance the level of both comfort and safety on the road. Elegant lines and a modern, sleek design not only result in attractive appearance, but also serve to improve aerodynamics, contributing to the car’s superb fuel economy.

Priced just below $ 20,000, the 2016 Honda Civic 2-door coupe offers a perfect combination of safety and comfort as well as excellent value for your money.

2016 Subaru WRX 

Yet another car with excellent safety features, the 2016 Subaru WRX earns a TSP + when equipped with optional front crash prevention. Designed to be both safe and economical, the 2016 Subaru WRX gets up to 27 miles to the gallon for highway driving and 20 MPG in city driving. It comes with a high-performance symmetrical all-wheel drive as well as a 268 horsepower 2.0 liter engine.

With features that include a 4-wheel anti-lock braking system and its traction control system, the 2016 Subaru WRX spells safety and reliability. As compared to earlier versions, this model also offers better handling fidelity in addition to new optional driver assistance technologies. A reasonable price of just below $27,000 makes the 2016 Subaru WRX an excellent choice for virtually any driver, and a great bargain for one of the safest cars of 2016.

2016 Volkswagen GTI 

Safest Cars of 2016: VW GTI. Photo by Carlos Rivera / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo by RL GNZLZ / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

A TSP+ rating applies only to 4-door models that include the brand’s optional front crash prevention feature. Priced at just under $ 26,000, this vehicle gets an impressive 34 MPG for highway driving and 24 MPG in city driving. With its 258 HP turbocharged 2.0 liter TSI engine, the 2016 Volkswagen GTI comes with a host of safety and tech features that turn any occasional ride into a memorable experience.

Made from durable high-strength steel, the 2016 GTI has a safety cage built into it that keeps the passengers safer in the event of front and side collisions. The tire pressure monitoring system alerts the driver to low tire pressure, whereas the new infotainment system offers additional driver assistance features. With such versatile characteristics, the 2016 Volkswagen GTI represents a cost-effective choice for all those who like to feel safe on the road.

Safety is always a concern when you are on the lookout for a new vehicle. With improved road safety awareness, more and more cars offer advanced safety features. The ever-growing automotive market creates fierce competition, which means that nowadays there is a wide array of TSPs + available at a very reasonable price. The price of loss, on the other hand, could be very high when driving a vehicle with poor safety features.

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