The Top 6 Safest Cars To Buy Used Right Now

The Top 6 Safest Cars To Buy Used Right Now

Budget is no doubt a common consideration when it comes to purchasing a vehicle, but finding a car that’s safe for you and your passengers is undeniably the number one priority. Fortunately, we can access information from organizations like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to help inform us when the time comes to purchase a vehicle. 

In this article, we’ll go through the top six safest cars based on this year’s ratings.

First, we’ll explain some of the efforts of these organizations to give you a better understanding.

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What is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety works to reduce motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and deaths through research, testing, and evaluation. Also known as the IIHS, this nonprofit performs many safety tests, including frontal crash tests, side-impact tests, and small overlap front tests that help determine more minor impacts like colliding with a tree. They also look at rating the driver-assist and safety tech in vehicles designed to prevent accidents. With each new test the IIHS unveils, the IIHS sees an upward trend in vehicle test results over time.

Each year, the IIHS publishes a list of vehicles that perform best. Each vehicle to make this cut receives the title of “Top Safety Pick” or “Top Safety Pick Plus.” The only difference between the two is the headlights rating. To meet the Plus criteria, headlights that the IIHS considers to be acceptable or good must come standard on the vehicle in all trim levels.

What is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?

Among the many other duties of this government agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also researches vehicle safety. This involves crash tests, similar to the IIHS, with the addition of rollover tests for larger vehicles like pickup trucks and SUVs.

They’re responsible for keeping consumers informed about safety when it comes to purchasing and driving a vehicle. Their star rating system allows them to communicate complex safety data visually, combining three categories into an overall rating: frontal crash, side crash, and rollover.

Without further ado, here are six of the safest cars you can buy used in 2021.

Honda Civic

Honda Civic

You won’t sacrifice style for safety in the Honda Civic. It’s sleek, sporty, and it’s one of the IIHS’s top safety picks. It also received a five-star rating from the NHTSA. The Civic is an exceptional step toward Honda’s goal of a world without crashes. While any vehicle’s driver-assist and safety tech doesn’t replace the need for a driver to be alert and attentive, it certainly helps, and the Civic features both a blind-spot display and a lane-keeping assist system.

With a two-liter, four-cylinder engine, frequent stopping isn’t a worry with the Civic either. It offers a fuel efficiency of 29 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. You can also save some cash for those “just in case” moments when buying a used Civic, with models listed at $9,950.

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Honda Civic

You won’t sacrifice style for safety in the Honda Civic. It’s sleek, sporty, and it’s one of the IIHS’s top safety picks. It also received a five-star rating from the NHTSA. The Civic is an exceptional step toward Honda’s goal of a world without crashes. While any vehicle’s driver-assist and safety tech doesn’t replace the need for a driver to be alert and attentive, it certainly helps, and the Civic features both a blind-spot display and a lane-keeping assist system.

With a two-liter, four-cylinder engine, frequent stopping isn’t a worry with the Civic either. It offers a fuel efficiency of 29 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. You can also save some cash for those “just in case” moments when buying a used Civic, with models listed at $9,950.

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Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru Crosstrek

The Subaru Crosstrek is as sporty as it looks. Technically an SUV, it features plenty of ground clearance for rougher terrains, so you can easily take it off-road. Chances are you’ll feel confident doing so, given that the reliable Crosstrek is on the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick Plus list and received five stars from the NHTSA.

Each Crosstrek comes standard with all-wheel-drive and is loaded with driver-assist tech to help you stay safe and alert. Under the hood is a two-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes for an excellent fuel efficiency of 28 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. When purchasing a used Crosstrek, you’ll not only know you made the right choice in safety, but you got a better bang for your buck, with models starting at $19,950.

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Subaru Crosstrek

The Subaru Crosstrek is as sporty as it looks. Technically an SUV, it features plenty of ground clearance for rougher terrains, so you can easily take it off-road. Chances are you’ll feel confident doing so, given that the reliable Crosstrek is on the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick Plus list and received five stars from the NHTSA.

Each Crosstrek comes standard with all-wheel-drive and is loaded with driver-assist tech to help you stay safe and alert. Under the hood is a two-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes for an excellent fuel efficiency of 28 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. When purchasing a used Crosstrek, you’ll not only know you made the right choice in safety, but you got a better bang for your buck, with models starting at $19,950.

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Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

A fantastic match for your commute or weekend road trips, the Toyota Corolla is perfect for those who are often on the go. It's both an IIHS top safety pick and an NHTSA five-star recipient. It offers an advanced set of safety features, designed with everything in the driver's reach to limit distracted driving. The IIHS lists models of the Corolla from 2019 to the present as the safest for teen drivers.

Powered by a lean 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine, the Corolla has a fuel efficiency of 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Not only will your teen want to drive it, with prices as low as $18,300, but you can also save extra for their college fund when you buy a used Corolla.

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Toyota Corolla

A fantastic match for your commute or weekend road trips, the Toyota Corolla is perfect for those who are often on the go. It's both an IIHS top safety pick and an NHTSA five-star recipient. It offers an advanced set of safety features, designed with everything in the driver's reach to limit distracted driving. The IIHS lists models of the Corolla from 2019 to the present as the safest for teen drivers.

Powered by a lean 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine, the Corolla has a fuel efficiency of 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Not only will your teen want to drive it, with prices as low as $18,300, but you can also save extra for their college fund when you buy a used Corolla.

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Mazda 6

Mazda 6

The Mazda 6 is more than just a beautiful car. Not only is it design-focused, but it offers a list of driver-assist features that help keep drivers alert, whether in the parking lot or on the highway. The IIHS lists it as one of their Top Safety Picks in the Plus category, and the NHTSA awarded it five stars.

With its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, the Mazda 6 has a fuel efficiency of 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Not only will you fuel up less frequently, but you'll also spend less when you buy a used Mazda 6, with models that go for $15,200.

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Mazda 6

The Mazda 6 is more than just a beautiful car. Not only is it design-focused, but it offers a list of driver-assist features that help keep drivers alert, whether in the parking lot or on the highway. The IIHS lists it as one of their Top Safety Picks in the Plus category, and the NHTSA awarded it five stars.

With its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, the Mazda 6 has a fuel efficiency of 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Not only will you fuel up less frequently, but you'll also spend less when you buy a used Mazda 6, with models that go for $15,200.

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Volvo S60

Volvo S60

Luxury meets safety with the Volvo S60. You can ride in style and comfort knowing the IIHS gave the S60 the green light as one of their Top Safety Picks in the Plus category. It also won five stars from the NHTSA.

Loaded with driver-assist features such as cross-traffic alert and auto-brake, as well as parking cameras and a blind spot information system, the S60 is like having a second set of eyes or a backseat driver you’ll actually wind up wanting to thank. 

You’ll most definitely want to thank the Corolla for saving you money on gas, thanks to its two-tier, four-cylinder engine that achieves 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. With used models listed at $13,500, you’ll also want to pat yourself on the back for not paying a steep price.

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Volvo S60

Luxury meets safety with the Volvo S60. You can ride in style and comfort knowing the IIHS gave the S60 the green light as one of their Top Safety Picks in the Plus category. It also won five stars from the NHTSA.

Loaded with driver-assist features such as cross-traffic alert and auto-brake, as well as parking cameras and a blind spot information system, the S60 is like having a second set of eyes or a backseat driver you’ll actually wind up wanting to thank. 

You’ll most definitely want to thank the Corolla for saving you money on gas, thanks to its two-tier, four-cylinder engine that achieves 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. With used models listed at $13,500, you’ll also want to pat yourself on the back for not paying a steep price.

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Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima

The Nissan Altima is as intelligent as it is luxurious. It's one of the IIHS's Top Picks in the Plus category and a five-star recipient from the NHTSA. Nissan's "Safety Shield 360" monitors the front, back, and sides of the car to help you stay safe on the road and in the parking lot.

Its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine achieves an impressive fuel efficiency of 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. With used Altimas listed at $10,850, you're likely to find several options that fit your budget.

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Nissan Altima

The Nissan Altima is as intelligent as it is luxurious. It's one of the IIHS's Top Picks in the Plus category and a five-star recipient from the NHTSA. Nissan's "Safety Shield 360" monitors the front, back, and sides of the car to help you stay safe on the road and in the parking lot.

Its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine achieves an impressive fuel efficiency of 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. With used Altimas listed at $10,850, you're likely to find several options that fit your budget.

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Safety First

When choosing a vehicle, safety is one area in which you don’t want to compromise. Thanks to the IIHS and the NHTSA, you can make a more informed choice.

Another note about safety is larger vehicles offer more protection to the driver and passengers. If you’re interested in learning more about larger vehicles, you can check out comparisons of larger SUVs and SUVs with captain seats to learn more.

No matter which make and model you choose, you can browse and purchase any of Shift’s cars directly online from the comfort of your home. They conduct a 150-point inspection, so you’ll know it has no hidden issues, and you’ll get a fair, up-front price from the start.

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Author
Shift Editorial Team