Some of the safest small cars in the United States are the Chevrolet Sonic, Mazda3, Chevrolet Volt, Dodge Dart, Ford C-Max Hybrid, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Soul and Nissan Sentra. These cars are recognized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as top safety picks for 2015. In addition to this lineup, other cars with good safety ratings are the Subaru Impreza, Subaru XV Crosstrek and the Honda Fit.
Topping the list for safest small cars, according to the IIHS, is the Chevrolet Sonic, but only models made after February 2015. This vehicle comes in a compact and sedan version. In addition to meeting the IIHS's criteria, the Sonic has a collision prevention system and earns top safety marks in the NHTSA's rigorous crash tests.
Following the Sonic in safety is the Chevrolet Volt, while the 2015 Dodge Dart takes third place. The Ford C-Max Hybrid and Ford Focus round out the IIHS's list of top five safest small cars.
These vehicles have outstanding safety records in new condition, but other vehicles stand out for their safety records in new and used condition. The Mazda3, which comes as a sedan or hatchback, does very well in the IIHS's crash tests. Like the Sonic, it has a collision prevention system and earns five stars in the NHTSA's safety tests. The Subaru Impreza also stands out in the safety category, thanks to its advanced collision prevention system, all-wheel drive and various integrated safety features.