Our 2016 Top Safe Car Picks4 min read

Looking for that new car smell?

How about large touch screens, a slick shifting 6-speed, or that smooth ride new cars deliver? It’s an exciting thing to shop for a car, and it’s also an opportunity to up the safety factor for the family when you’re on the road.

Dangers on the road unfortunately can’t be altogether avoided. For example, commercial trucks – also known as tractor-trailers – are ever-present, brake poorly, and often weigh 20x the weight of the average car.

And what about Connecticut snow – or sleet, rain or blizzard? These are not exactly conditions that make for safe driving.

We have identified a few vehicle models that receive high marks for their safety features. All of our picks have all-wheel drive options and at least five airbags to keep you and the brood safe on the road.

If you’re soon heading into a local dealership, we’ve got some safety insights below for you.

Who Determines Which Cars Are Safe?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts tests on a vehicle’s “crashworthiness.” This gives the driver an idea of how a vehicle will fare in a collision.

Based on these tests, some vehicles are named to one of two categories of distinction: Top Safety Picks or Top Safety Pick+.

We made selections based on the following criteria:

  • Under $30,000
  • Front or available all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • 4 doors
  • Front Crash Warning as an available feature
  • 5 airbags

The Flood Law Firm is big on safety, so we have only selected the Pick+ list-makers. (Like chocolate, you can never have too much safety.)


Ever seen a BMW M3? It’s a gorgeous, extremely well-made car that is a blast to drive. The downside? Well, it’s pricey in every way – to buy, operate and insure.

The Mazda 3 is a great alternative – and could probably be nicknamed the “economical M3.”

Car and Driver named it to their “10 Best” list and called it “packed with clever details, driving satisfaction, and style, the 3 is magnificent.” Owner experience websites state the maintenance is low. What’s more, there’s a great added safety feature: the 2016 model comes with a front crash warning system.

In all, it is a very nicely equipped car for less than $20,000. So why spend $65,000+ on a BMW?

If you do want to spend a little more and are looking for all-wheel drive, the Mazda CX-5 is available for less than $25,000. It also made the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick+ distinction.

chrysler-car-safety-pick If you need a little more room, but still want a whole lot of style, the all-new Chrysler 200 is one to take for a spin. Easy on the eyes outside and inside, the interior cabin is distinctive. Motor Trend says the interior finds inspirations from American design icons like the Eames Chair. Fancy!

This nicely equipped car comes in under $25,000, although it has a 9-speed transmission (which is what a $120,000 Mercedes S-Class offers). This helps ensure excellent fuel economy nearing 30 MPG, even if you opt for the powerful V-6 engine.

Class leading safety features include Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, available Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking and a host of other features that are either standard or optional.

Also, all-wheel drive variants are available for just under $30,000, and if your budget allots for it, be sure to look into the sport model.


If you always wanted the big Land Rover brand, we can’t blame you. But if you went with one, then you would have to be concerned about door dings and service costs (on top of the already steep sticker price). This makes the Nissan Murano a great cost-conscious option at just a hair under $30,000 MSRP.

For the sake of its style, large touchscreen infotainment system, and comprehensive safety features, we had to include the Nissan Murano in the list.

The all-wheel drive feature is a great selling point too for anyone driving on Connecticut’s slick winter roads.

For those wanting to avoid shelling out more than $25,000 for their next family vehicle, try waiting a few months when a reduced-price demo model might be available for added savings.

Keeping You Safe

Whichever type of car you choose, we wish you and your family safe travels. In the unfortunate event, you are in a car accident, our experienced lawyers are here to help protect your rights and get you full compensation for your injuries.


Founded by brothers Brian and Christopher Flood, The Flood Law Firm is dedicated to helping those who have been injured. Learn more about our firm here.

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