Top 10 Safest Cars

Our review of the safest and most reliable cars in 2021 with safety ratings.

14 July 2021

Jack Harley
Yourcar Vehicle Reviewer

While it is exciting to have contemporary styling and great performance, safety should always be of the utmost importance when considering a new car purchase. For those who want that extra bit of confidence when hitting the streets, we have compiled a list below of the top 10 safest cars from 2019/2020.

These are scored based on multiple crash simulations that include; Head-on crash, side impact, the effectiveness of emergency braking systems, and post-crash safety systems summarising how efficiently emergency services can act upon arriving at a crash scene to extract a casualty. In summary, the Australian NCAP system covers all of the bases giving you a comprehensive and reliable understanding of how safe a car is.

Below is the list of the top 10 safest new cars you can buy based on the ANCAP ratings:

1. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

Mercedes Benz CLA in factory

Average safety rating: 88% (5-stars)

If you look past the contemporary styling and superior comfort, the Mercedes-Benz CLA range packs a punch in the safety department too! Scoring 90%+ on 3 of the 4 ANCAP categories, the CLA range was ranked as the safest car of 2019. Complemented by many variants to choose from, the CLA remains one of the best choices for those wanting a high-performing all-rounder.

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2. Mazda CX-30

Mazda CX-30 safety featuresMazda CX-30

Average safety rating: 86% (5-stars)

The first-ever CX-30 is the perfect new-generation SUV with its perfect balance of space and style. Even better, the CX-30 is the highest-scoring car from 2019/2020 in terms of adult safety, scoring 99% and also a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. This is the perfect all-rounder offering unprecedented levels of confidence-inspiring performance, a contemporary Japanese-inspired design, and competitive warranty/servicing extras without compromise.

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3. Mazda3

Mazda 3 on the open road

Average safety rating: 86% (5-stars)

Being the second Mazda on this list, we can conclude Mazda does safety well. The best part is that this time it comes in the form of their most popular small car, the Mazda 3. It scored highly on both Child and Adult protection systems that reflect its user-orientated design but scored respectably on all other categories scoring a 5-star ANCAP safety ratings. The best part is it is offered in both a hatchback and sedan with multiple different engines to suit whatever space requirements and economy you need!

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4. Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester safety rating

Average safety rating: 85% (5-stars)

One of the longest-standing cars on this list, the Subaru Forester is the most popular car that Subaru sells globally. Not only that, it was ranked the 2018 New Zealand Car of the Year due to the durability, functionality, and safety that kiwi families desire. Its 5-star ANCAP safety rating is based on it being loaded with innovative safety technology including a driver-facial monitoring system and the unique EyeSight crash avoidance. You can be sure that the Subaru Forester will keep you and your family safe, no matter where you want to go!

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5. Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris

Average safety rating: 84% (5-stars)

It is no secret that the Toyota Yaris is one of the most popular small hatchbacks and has been a key driver of Toyota’s success due to its affordability, reliability, and contemporary looks. What you might not expect is that it is one of the safest cars you can own, being one of the only small hatchbacks to receive a 5-star ANCAP safety rating in 2020. One thing is for sure, no matter what body style you choose whether it’s the Cross or GR sport you will definitely have the confidence to have fun!

6. Nissan Juke

2020 Nissan Juke SUV

Average safety rating: 83% (5-stars)

One of the most popular sub-compact SUVs, the Nissan Juke is designed to be practical without sacrificing the nimbleness often lost in full-size SUVs. With all of that practicality, it packs a whole lot of safety features that have scored a respectable average of 83% across all of the ANCAP categories. As a result, it is deserving of its 5-star safety rating status and means you won’t be lacking confidence on those weekend beach trips.

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7. Ford Puma

Ford Puma, small city SUV

Average safety rating: 83% (5-stars)

The Puma is Ford’s new approach to the small city SUV market with its contemporary styling and characteristic Ford charm. Not only is it powered by the legendary EcoBoost engine that balances power and efficiency, but it is also a consistently high scorer across all of the ANCAP categories receiving an average score of 83% based on an array of Ford safety technology. With a surprising amount of space, this Puma performs incredibly well, both on the city streets and the winding roads!

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8. Isuzu D-MAX

 Isuzu D-Max, rugged dependability

Average safety rating: 81% (5-stars)

If you are looking for that perfect all-rounder to tow the boat to the beach and do the school run but still want the absolute best in terms of safety, the D-MAX is your guy. With the new D-MAX, the rugged dependability is now complemented by the title of 'the safest ute in NZ' thanks to its innovative use of both passive and active safety technology. Shared by all of its trims, models, engines, and transmissions to choose from, you can be sure that no matter what you need, a D-MAX is right for you and you will always be able to depend on it!

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9. Land Rover Defender

2021 Land Rover Defender

Average safety rating: 80% (5-stars)

This one might have been a little bit more predictable. This dependable, all-terrain SUV competes with the safest cars around with a confident 5-star ANCAP safety rating. Built for capability, impact, and durability, this legendary SUV has some serious history under its belt and safety has been perfectly encapsulated in its re-imagined traditional boxy design. The best part? 70 years of innovation has meant its essence is now accompanied by an array of safety features to get you back safely from your next adventure.

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10. Kia Sorento

New Kia Sorento

Average safety rating: 80% (5-stars)

The Kia Sorento is the ultimate bold SUV in the Kia lineup and is loaded with innovative technology to keep you connected on your journey. Like all Kia cars, special attention has been paid to safety features both inside and out to produce a car that includes forward collision assistance, multi-collision braking, and an around-view monitor. The result is a 5-star ANCAP safety rating and complete confidence to take you and your family on any journey in complete safety.

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