December 5, 2022

Javier14mascherano

Born to perform

The Safest New SUVs and Minivans of 2022

38 min read

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2022 Toyota Sienna Platinum in gray.

To say today’s SUVs and minivans drive safer than those of, let’s say, 10 years ago isn’t nonsense. Not only did the recent crop of advanced safety features find their way into both segments, but the materials forming the structure of today’s vehicles are stronger.

Moreover, techniques to direct the force of crashes to areas of the frame and body where it will do the least harm constantly evolve and improve. Yes, today’s SUVs and minivans drive safer than those of decades past.

However, the war isn’t won. Crashes still happen, injuries occur, and lives get lost on the streets, roads, and highways every day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 42,915 people died in traffic accidents in 2021. That’s more than a 10% increase over 2020.

The reality is some SUVs and minivans provide you with a better chance of walking away from a crash or avoiding one altogether than others do. Those are the vehicles on our list. Read on to learn which SUVs and minivans we consider to be the safest and why.

Picking the SUVs and Minivans: Methodology

We based our safest SUVs and minivans list on those with perfect crash test and safety scores from NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Both organizations evaluate the safety of vehicles through crash and safety testing. We go into more detail about how they conduct those tests below.

Now, we have the list of what the IIHS and NHTSA believe are the safest models. However, we took the list a step further. We narrowed down our picks to the trim level within each model, providing the most standard and available advanced safety technology and features. We also weighed the level of safety equipment against price to determine the best safety value.

Several safety features we take for granted, like stability control, traction control, tire pressure monitors, and antilock brakes, are now government-mandated. By federal law, carmakers must make them standard for every new car, light truck, minivan, and SUV.

The government also mandates airbags. However, that mandate only includes the two front airbags to protect the driver and front-seat passenger. Many of today’s passenger vehicles provide at least six airbags. In addition to the two front airbags, you also find two front side-impact and two side curtain airbags. Every model on this list uses at least six airbags. We note those models with more than six.

Advanced Safety Technologies

Rear occupancy alert

To determine the safest trim-level value within each model, we balanced price against safety content in the vehicles. We looked closely at not only the advanced active safety technologies but also at other features providing an extra degree of safety. Among the active advanced safety features we considered are forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and so forth. Other features we believe contribute to the safe operation of an SUV and minivan include LED headlights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a head-up display, and so on.

Key Advanced Tech in Vehicles

Here’s the list of the more prominent advanced safety and driver-assistance technologies we looked for.

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) – Adaptive cruise control maintains a preset speed once locked in. However, it also responds to the changing speed of the vehicle ahead. As it slows, so does your vehicle. Some systems will bring your vehicle to a complete stop if necessary. Traffic Jam Assist is a form of adaptive cruise control. It’s engineered specifically for slow-moving, stop-and-go city traffic.
  • Adaptive Front Lights – Bending in the direction in which the front wheels turn, these headlights light the way when taking a curve or making a turn.
  • Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) – Usually paired with forward collision warning, AEB senses when your vehicle is likely to strike an object in front of it. It then automatically applies the brakes.
  • Blind-Spot Monitoring (BSM) – Designed to detect and warn you of vehicles entering the outboard-mirror blind spots on your vehicle’s flanks, BSM uses sensors mounted on the corners of the rear bumper to detect approaching vehicles.
  • Driver Monitoring System (DMS) – Employing cameras and other sensors, DMS determines if a driver’s attention is still on the road. Some manufacturers call this Driver Awareness Alert.
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW) – Using a camera or a combination of camera and radar, FCW detects an impending frontal crash, sounding an audible alert. More sophisticated FCW systems include emergency braking in cases when the driver fails to respond to the warning.
  • High-Beam Assist – The headlight high beams are always engaged in vehicles with this system. When photosensors or a forward-pointed camera senses approaching headlights or taillights, the system automatically switches off the high beams. It automatically switches them back on when no vehicle lights are detected.
  • Junction-Turning Assist (JTA) – Sometimes called “intersection-turning assist,” this system detects oncoming traffic when making a left turn in an intersection. It sounds a warning, with most systems also automatically braking the vehicle.
  • Lane-Centering Assist (LCA) – Using a forward-pointed camera, LCA reads the lane marking and keeps the vehicle centered. LCA is a proactive system that constantly makes small steering corrections to keep the vehicle centered in the lane.
  • Lane-Departure Warning (LDW) – Monitoring the defining lines on the pavement outlining your driving lane, a front-pointed camera recognizes when you drift too near to one of them. The system issues an auditory warning if you didn’t engage the turn signal. More sophisticated systems have steering assist, nudging you back toward the center.
  • Lane-Following Assist (LFA) – In the event lane markings aren’t clearly defined, LFA keeps your vehicle on the same course as the vehicle preceding it.
  • Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA) – Similar to lane-departure systems with steering assist, LKA doesn’t issue an auditory warning. Rather, also using a forward-pointed camera to keep track of lane markings, it reacts to a vehicle drifting toward a lane marking. It then initiates steering corrections to keep your vehicle within the lane boundaries.
  • Park Assist – Sensors located on the rear and/or front bumper detect an object approaching when traveling at low speeds. When they do, the system sounds an auditory alarm. More sophisticated systems also provide automatic braking.
  • Parking Assistance – These systems vary in their scope and name. However, they can usually parallel park or diagonally park the vehicle with little or no driver input.
  • Pedestrian Detection – A more advanced version of forward collision warning, this system detects pedestrians, as well as other vehicles.
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) – Warns of traffic crossing behind you when backing out of a parking space.
  • Safe Exit Assist – Radar-based, this feature detects approaching traffic and prevents the door from opening while sounding a warning.
  • Surround-View Camera – A series of at least four cameras grab images around the vehicle. The system knits these images together to present an overhead image of the vehicle and the areas around it. Some carmakers call this system a bird’s-eye-view or 360-degree monitoring. This is helpful when maneuvering through tight spaces or parking.

Other Vehicle Features Adding Safety

  • Auto On-Off Headlights – Photosensors monitor daylight, automatically engaging the headlights as the daylight grows dim and extinguishing them as daylight returns.
  • Auto-Dimming Mirrors – Using photosensors, they detect bright headlights approaching from behind, automatically dimming the reflection of those lights. Any of the inside or outboard rearview mirrors can include this feature.
  • Head-Up Display (HUD) – Engineered to help shorten the time a driver’s eyes are off the road, HUD displays key information onto the windshield just below the driver’s line of sight. This projected image provides the ability to check information, like vehicle speed, in less time than glancing down at the speedometer.
  • Heated Outboard Mirrors – Electrically heated, these mirrors automatically clear the mirror surface of snow, ice, and fog.
  • Hill-Start Assist – Sensors alert the system that you are stopped on an incline. Therefore, transferring your foot from the brake to the accelerator retains brake pressure to prevent the vehicle from rolling backward.
  • LED Headlights – Illuminating a wider and longer area than regular incandescent or halogen lights, LED headlights are also easier for other drivers to spot. In fact, all exterior LED lights (tail lights, fog lights, and daytime running lights [DRLs]) also improve safety.
  • Outboard Mirrors with Integrated Turn Signals – These mirrors have turn signal repeaters located on their outer shell.
  • Rain-Sensing Wipers – Sensing moisture on the windshield, this system automatically engages the wipers. The wiper speed adjusts, compensating for the volume of rain.
  • Rear Occupant Alert – Upon exiting the vehicle, this system sounds an auditory reminder to check the back seat for children and pets.

Vehicle Crash and Safety Testing

The IIHS and NHTSA remain the most universally acknowledged crash and safety testing experts. Here is a summary of their processes.

IIHS

Independent and nonprofit, the IIHS gains its funding from auto insurers and insurance associations. It performs six crash tests on cars, light trucks, minivans, and SUVs that were key to our research. They include a driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint.

A vehicle can earn a score of Good, Acceptable, Marginal, or Poor. Every model on our list earned the highest score of Good for every testing scenario. Note: the IIHS changed its side-impact test beginning in 2022. The crash vehicle is heavier and moves at a higher speed than in previous years. We note them in the individual vehicle descriptions below, but three SUVs underwent this new test and didn’t get a score of Good. This is normal in the first year or two of a new or revised test. It appears in the IIHS crash-test scores of those SUVs as a seventh test. The new side-impact test will be factored into the TSP and TSP+ ratings beginning in the 2023 model year.

In addition to the crash tests, the IIHS assesses other features as they apply to safety. For example, headlights, vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention, and vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention. Scoring for this group of tests tops out at Superior, descending to Advanced and Basic. The IIHS also considers the LATCH child-seat systems.

Only SUVs and minivans scoring high marks in both the crash and safety scenarios earn the IIHS most coveted safety awards of Top Safety Pick (TSP) and Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+). Every one of our picks is a TSP+.**Note: When the IIHS tests vehicles, they typically treat plug-in hybrids as distinct models, but any vehicle that isn’t a plug-in is treated as a trim level. That means that if a gas-powered model made this list with a TSP+ rating, the hybrid did too.

NHTSA

NHTSA is an agency of the federal Department of Transportation. Only performing front and side crash tests, NHTSA uses a 1- to 5-Star scoring system. The highest score is the 5-Star rating.

Front crash-test protocol is running a vehicle into a fixed barrier at 35 miles per hour. NHTSA combines the results of side-barrier, and driver’s-door side-pole crashes to arrive at a side crash score. There is also a rollover scenario in which NHTSA doesn’t perform a crash test. Instead, it tests vehicles for their likelihood to roll over. Stars are awarded for the rollover test, as well.

Every SUV on this list boasts an overall 5-Star rating. However, there are a handful of SUVs on this list that NHTSA has yet to test. We include those here on the strength of their IIHS score and note the lack of a government rating in the description.

The Safest SUVs

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX Type S

Best Safety Value: $48,000 (MDX)

Base Price: $48,000 | Expert Rating: 4.5

Combined Fuel Economy: 22 mpg

Completely redesigned for 2022, the 3-row luxury Acura MDX shines for its roomy cabin and bundle of advanced technologies. Acura provides every MDX with seven airbags, hill-start assist, a rear camera washer, heated outboard mirrors, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Also included are auto on-off LED headlights and high-beam assist. Every MDX also provides the AcuraWatch bundle of advanced safety and driver-aid technologies. Included are FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, LDW with steering assist, LKA, and ACC with Traffic Jam Assist. BSM and RCTA are standard, as well.

Stepping up a notch to the MDX with Technology Package ($52,700) gains a little more advanced tech. Front/rear park assist with full-braking assist, rain-sensing wipers, and AcuraLink with Real-Time Traffic are included. We don’t think that extra $4,700 makes value sense in terms of safety gained. We recommend going with the base MDX. If you consider all-wheel drive (AWD) a safety item, you can pick up Acura’s impressive Super Handling AWD for $2,200.

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2022 Acura RDX

2022 Acura RDX ASpec

Best Safety Value: $40,600 (RDX)

Base Price: $40,600 | Expert Rating: 4.5

Combined Fuel Economy: 24 mpg

A relatively roomy 5-passenger SUV, the Acura RDX presents a value in the small luxury SUV arena with impressive reliability and solid resale values. Acura arms every RDX with eight airbags, hill-start assist, high-beam assist, and heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals. LED exterior lights (auto on-off headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights) are standard as well.

Every RDX also features the AcuraWatch bundle of safety and driver aid technologies. These include FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, LDW with steering assist, and LKA. Other AcuraWatch systems are ACC, traffic-sign recognition, and front/rear park assist with automatic braking. BSM and RCTA are standard, too. Although the next trim level up (RDX with Technology) provides a boatload of solid comfort and convenience features, none of them add much to the RDX safety story. Our value pick is the base RDX.

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2022 Audi e-tron/e-tron Sportback

Best Safety Value: $69,800 (Premium + options)

Base Price: $65,900 | Expert Rating: 3.6

Combined Fuel Economy: 78 MPGe/77 MPGe

The Sportback version of the fully electric (EV) e-tron is $3,200 more than the standard version. They are equipped the same. Audi has a reputation for crafting high-quality cabins, and the e-tron follows suit. All-wheel drive is standard, with an electric motor on each axle. The entry-level Audi e-tron Premium comes with auto on-off LED headlights, LED taillights, and heated power outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals. Also standard are eight airbags and high-beam assist.

Among the advanced safety and driver-aid technologies are FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, LKA, BSM, and RCTA. Front/rear park assist is standard, as well. For $3,500, you may add the Convenience Plus Package with ACC with steering assist and a surround-view camera. Rear-seat side-impact airbags will set you back $400. We recommend sticking with the Premium trim with the listed option packages.

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2022 Audi Q5/Q5 Sportback

2022 Audi Q5

Best Safety Value: $48,650 (Premium Plus + option)

Base Price: $43,300 | Expert Rating: 4.7

Combined Fuel Economy: 25 mpg

As with the e-tron, the Audi Q5 comes in standard SUV form, as well as a sleeker Sportback version. The Sportback runs $6,800 more than the standard Q5. However, the standard equipment is about the same. As the entry-level trim, Premium comes with auto on-off LED headlights, LED taillights, and heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals. High-beam assist is standard, as well. Listed among the advanced safety technologies are FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection and rear park assist. BSM, RCTA, and LKA are also standard. You can pick up auto-dimming outboard mirrors with the $1,100 Convenience Package. Rear side-impact airbags will set you back another $350.

Popping for the Premium Plus trim adds ACC with Traffic Jam Assist, front park assist, and a surround-view camera. It also includes adaptive cruise control with steering assist, which is essentially a semi-autonomous driver assist. You may add the rear side-impact airbags for $350. We think the extra safety features are worth the $5,000 additional cost of the Premium Plus grade. We’d also add the rear side-impact airbags.

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2022 Cadillac XT6

2021 Cadillac XT6

Best Safety Value: $57,245 (Premium Luxury + Tech Pkg)

Base Price: $48,595 | Expert Rating: 2.7

Combined Fuel Economy: 23 mpg

A midsize 3-row SUV, the Cadillac XT6 gets sort of lost among a field of outstanding rivals like the Lexus RX and Acura MDX. However, there is no issue with its safety creds. It comes standard with auto on-off LED headlights, heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. High-beam assist and seven airbags are standard as well. Its advanced safety and driver-aid technologies include front/rear park assist and FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection. BSM, RCTA, LKA, and LDW are standard, as is Teen Driver, which allows parents to set limits for younger drivers.

As far as added safety goes, the Premium Luxury trim ($54,995) itself doesn’t bring much to the party. However, among its options are the Technology Package ($2,350). It features a surround-view camera, a head-up display, a rearview camera washer, and rear pedestrian alert. It also provides Automatic Parking Assistance, which is a self-parking feature. We believe these features (plus all the added comfort and convenience features) are worth stepping up to the Premium Luxury grade.

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2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer

2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer ACTIV in Orange.

Best Safety Value: $22,295 (LS + Driver Confidence and Cruise Pkg)

Base Price: $21,800 | Expert Rating: 4.3

Combined Fuel Economy: 30 mpg

Weighing in as one of the more affordable picks on this list, the entry-level Trailblazer LS is fairly basic. However, it provides a few of our recommended safety features. They include auto on-off headlights, high-beam assist, and 10 airbags. Among its standard advanced safety driver-aid technologies are FCA with AEB and pedestrian detection and LKA. For $495 you can add the Driver Confidence and Cruise Package with cruise control, BSM, and RCTA. All-wheel drive will set you back $2,000.

Regarding our safety recommendations, we’d advise sticking with the LS with the noted option package rather than spending the extra $2,200 for the LT. That bump in price does gain you cruise control, plus heated outboard mirrors and LED fog lights. It also tosses in a few convenience features. However, with the LT, you still must pony up $345 for the Driver Confidence Package for BSM and RCTA. You can opt for rear park assist for another $145. That would bring the LT with options price to $24,490. If your budget has the room for the LT with its 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and other convenience goodies, we say go for it. Otherwise, stay with the LS and the noted option package.

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2022 Ford Bronco Sport

2022 Ford Bronco Sport

Best Safety Value: $32,710 (Big Bend + Convenience and Co-Pilot360 Pkgs)

Base Price: $28,815 | Expert Rating: 4.6

Combined Fuel Economy: 26 mpg

The Ford Bronco Mini-Me, the 4-door Bronco Sport comes standard with AWD. Every Bronco Sport comes with the Ford Co-Pilot360 bundle of safety and driver-aid technologies. This bundle includes FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, BSM, and RCTA. LDW, and LKA are also part of the package. Among our recommended safety features are LED headlights, LED taillights, high-beam assist, and hill-start assist. MyKey is standard. It allows parents to set limits for younger drivers. Ford’s SOS crash-alert system sounds the horn and flashes the lights if the vehicle is disabled due to a crash.

With the Big Bend trim ($30,530), you add heated outboard mirrors and a rearview-camera washer. For another $895, the Co-Pilot360 Assist+ Package includes adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, and Evasive Steering Assist. Among lots of other goodies, the $1,285 Convenience Package adds LED fog lights and rear park assist. Moving up to the Outer Banks grade ($34,450) gains you LED fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, windshield-wiper de-icer, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Rear park assist is also standard. You must still spend the money on the Co-Pilot360 Assist+ Package for those features. We’d go with the Big Bend trim and the listed option packages.

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2022 Ford Explorer

2022 Ford Explorer

Best Safety Value: $35,510 (Explorer)

Base Price: $35,510 | Expert Rating: 3.8

Combined Fuel Economy: 24 mpg

With its numerous iterations, the 3-row midsize Ford Explorer can be many things to many people. Our priority here, though, is its role as a safe family hauler. Although the entry-level version is fairly basic, it provides several of our sought-after safety features. They include auto on-off LED headlights, LED taillights, MyKey, SOS crash alert, eight airbags, high-beam assist, and hill-start assist. The bundle of advanced safety and driver-aid technologies isn’t long but does feature FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection. Also standard are LKA, BSM, RCTA and DMS.

Stepping up to the Explorer’s most popular trim the XLT ($38,570) only adds heated outboard mirrors among our desired features. However, you can add the Co-Pilot Assist+ Package ($4,535) to the XLT. It includes adaptive cruise control, lane-centering assist traffic-sign recognition, and Evasive Steering Assist. Our safety value recommendation is the base Explorer. NHTSA has not tested the 2022 Ford Explorer.

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2022 Genesis GV70

2022 Genesis GV70

Best Safety Value: $41,500 (2.5T AWD Standard)

Base Price: $41,500 | Expert Rating: 4.8

Combined Fuel Economy: 24 mpg

All new for 2022, the Genesis GV70 comes out of the box with AWD. This smaller, 5-passenger SUV is nicely equipped and undercuts the pricing of European rivals. Among our recommended features, the entry-level 2.5T Standard provides LED exterior lighting (auto on-off headlights, taillights, and DRLs). Also included are heated outboard mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, eight airbags, hill-start assist, and rain-sensing wipers.

The list of advanced safety and driver-aid technologies is equally as long, starting with front/rear park assist. Others are FCW with AEB, ACC with safety and curve assist, LKA, LFA, BSM, RCTA, DMS, and safe-exit assist. Highway Driving Assist is also standard. It’s a semi-autonomous driver assistance system that can steer, brake and accelerate the vehicle under certain conditions. Adding the Select package doesn’t gain any safety features. Opting for the Advanced package adds a surround-view camera and Remote Smart Parking Assist that can autonomously parallel or perpendicular park the vehicle. We think that this package’s $8,150 boost in price is a little steep. We’d stick with the well-equipped 2.5T Standard trim. NHTSA has yet to test the GV70.

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2022 Genesis GV80

2022 Genesis GV80

Best Safety Value: $50,200 (2.5T Standard)

Base Price: $50,200 | Expert Rating: 4.8

Combined Fuel Economy: 23 mpg

As with its smaller GV70 sibling, the 2- or 3-row Genesis GV80 provides a luxury experience at a price that makes its European rivals weep. You can stay with the entry-level 2.5T Standard because it provides the same safety features, as well as, advanced safety and driver-aid technologies as the 3.5T. Among our recommended safety features are LED exterior lighting (auto on-off headlights, DRLs, and taillights) and high-beam assist. Also standard are 10 airbags, hill-start assist, heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals and auto-dimming, and rain-sensing wipers. An auto-dimming rearview mirror and adaptive cruise control with safety and curve make the grade as well.

Among the advanced technologies are FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, JTA, LKA, LFA, BSM with steering, and RCTA with brake assist. Safe-exit assist, front/rear park assist, and Highway Driving Assist are also standard. To gain any other notable advanced technologies, you must add the Prestige Package ($9,400). It adds a real-time Blind-Spot View Monitor, a surround-view camera, and Remote Smart Parking Assist. As much as we are fans of surround-view cameras, particularly for larger vehicles, and like the idea of full-parking assist features, we recommend staying with the 2.5T Standard.

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2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Front Three Quarter

Best Safety Value: $39,950 (SE)

Base Price: $39,950 | Expert Rating: 4.4

Combined Fuel Economy: 110 MPGe

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is so new that the ink isn’t even dry on its IIHS TSP+ award. Consequently, the NHTSA hasn’t rated it, but we expect it to be a 5-Star player. Roughly the same size as the Hyundai Tucson, the Ioniq 5 listed here is the rear-wheel-drive model with the smaller battery. Its maximum range is an estimated 220 miles. The base SE comes with auto on-off LED headlights and taillights, as well as heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals.

Among our recommended advanced technologies, the SE provides high-beam assist, ACC, BSM with steering, and RCTA with automatic braking. Rear park assist, FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, LKA, LFA, DMS, JTA, and safe-exit assist are also standard. Included as well is Hyundai’s Highway Driving Assist 1, which can steer, brake, and accelerate the vehicle under certain conditions. Moving up to the SEL ($46,250) adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, front park assist, and Highway Driving Assist 2, which adds automatic lane changing. You must move all the way up to the Limited ($51,100) to gain rain-sensing wipers, a head-up display, a surround-view camera, and a blind-spot monitor. We think the SE is the best safety value.

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2022 Hyundai Nexo

2022 Hyundai Nexo

Best Safety Value: $62,885 (Limited)

Base Price: $59,435 | Expert Rating: 3.7

Combined Fuel Economy: 57 MPGe

If you haven’t heard of the Hyundai Nexo, you’re not alone. It’s the only hydrogen-powered (fuel cell) SUV on the market. Moreover, Hyundai only markets the Nexo in California because of the lack of refueling options elsewhere. It shouldn’t surprise you that NHTSA hasn’t rated it. However, it is an IIHS TSP+. California offers up to a $4,500 rebate on the Nexo. The entry-level Blue trim comes with LED exterior lighting (auto on-off headlights, taillights, and DRLs) and high-beam assist. Heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals are also standard.

The standard advanced technologies include FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, BSM with steering, and RCTA with automatic braking. Front/rear park assist, LFA, LKA, LDW, DMS, and ACC are also standard. For $3,450, you can move up to the Limited trim. In addition to several convenience features, it gains you a Blind-Spot View Monitor, rain-sensing wipers, and a surround-view monitor. Also included is the Remote Smart Parking Assist, which allows you to park the vehicle from outside the car. We believe the additional safety features are worth the bump up to the Limited trim.

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2022 Hyundai Palisade

2022 Hyundai Palisade

Best Safety Value: $33,600 (SE)

Base Price: $33,600 | Expert Rating: 4.6

Combined Fuel Economy: 22 mpg

A terrific value, the 3-row Hyundai Palisade provides a wealth of standard features, including a few on our recommended list. Note: The Palisade is one of the few picks submitted for the new IIHS side-impact protocol, scoring Marginal. However, it retains its TSP+ rating. Among our sought-after features are auto on-off LED headlights, high-beam assist, hill-start assist, and seven airbags. Also standard are heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals. Leading off its list of advanced safety technologies is FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection. Also included are BSM with steering, RCTA with automatic braking, rear park assist, ACC, LFA, LKA, DMS, and safe-exit assist.

Stepping up to the SEL grade, you don’t add anything to the safety story. However, with the SEL trim level, the $2,400 Convenience Package becomes available. This package gains you LED taillights and front park assist. Also available on the SEL is the $3,200 Premium Package, which adds Highway Driving Assist. That’s a total price tag of $41,550. Consequently, we don’t think moving up to the SEL makes sense as far as added safety is concerned. Stay with the SE.

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2022 Hyundai Santa Fe

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe

Best Safety Value: $31,150 (SEL + Premium Pkg)

Base Price: $27,700 | Expert Rating: 4.7

Combined Fuel Economy: 26 mpg

The 2-row midsize Santa Fe reinforces Hyundai’s value story. Fitting between the Palisade and the Tucson, its focus is on roomy comfort and cargo space. From our list of recommended features, it provides auto on-off LED headlights, high-beam assist, and hill-start assist. Its standard advanced technologies are ACC, LKA, LFA, DMS, and FCA with AEB and pedestrian detection. Apparently, because of the microchip shortage, you can no longer option BSM, RCTA, and safe-exit assist for the entry-level SE.

Stepping up to the SEL ($29,450) gains you BSM with steering assist, RCTA with automatic braking, and safe-exit assist. You also gain heated outboard mirrors. Another $1,700 adds the Convenience Package with its auto-dimming rearview mirror and outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals. Picking up the Premium Package ($4,060) includes LED taillights and Highway Driving Assist. For more reasons than simply safety, we’d opt for the SEL with the Convenience Package.

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2022 Hyundai Tucson

2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid in white.

Best Safety Value: $27,100 (SEL)

Base Price: $25,800 | Expert Rating: 4.6

Combined Fuel Economy: 29 mpg

Hyundai completely redesigned the Tucson for 2022 and elevated this small SUV in the process. Leading off the safety features are auto on-off LED headlights. Other features are high-beam assist, seven airbags, and outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals. FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection heads the list of safety and driver-aid tech. Also included are BSM, RCTA, DMS, LKA, LFA, and safe exit assist.

Stepping up to the SEL ($27,100) gains LED taillights and DRLs, heated outboard mirrors, ACC, and JTA. To add rain-sensing wipers, front/rear park assist, a surround-view monitor, Blind-Spot View Monitor, and remote park assist, you need the Limited trim. It also provides an auto-dimming rearview mirror. We like all those features, but not at $8,200 more than the SEL. Our advice is to spend the extra $1,300 for the SEL trim. There are some other goodies like proximity keyless entry that make that $1,300 a bargain.

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2022 Lexus NX/PHEV

2022 Lexus NX

Best Safety Value: $39,345 (250 + options)

Base Price: $38,350 | Expert Rating: 4.2

Combined Fuel Economy: 28 mpg (gas)/84 MPGe, 36 mpg (PHEV)

Lexus added the all-new range-topping NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid (PHEV) for 2022. But even the entry-level NX 250 provides all the safety features and advanced technologies available for the NX. That’s regardless of the trim level. NHTSA has yet to issue a safety rating for the NX. IIHS awarded the Lexus NX, NX 350h, and NX 450h PHEV the TPS+ rating. The 250 is the only NX with standard front-wheel drive (FWD). All-wheel drive is a $1,600 option. Among our sought-after safety features, the 250 provides auto on-off LED headlights, eight airbags, and heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals. An auto-dimming rearview mirror is standard, as well.

Leading off the advanced safety technologies is FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection. Also standard are ACC, BSM, RCTA, LDW with steering assist, traffic-sign recognition, and safe-exit assist. We’d pick up the surround-view camera ($1,070), digital rearview camera mirror ($200), and rain-sensing wipers ($125) as standalone options.

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2022 Mazda CX-30

2022 Mazda CX-30 in charcoal.

Best Safety Value: $22,775 (2.5 S + auto-dimming mirror)

Base Price: $22,500 | Expert Rating: 4.7

Combined Fuel Economy: 26 mpg

For 2022, Mazda made all-wheel drive standard on all SUVs, benefitting the CX-30. As a smaller SUV, the Mazda CX-30 is a solid choice for anyone looking for urban transit. It is also our most affordable Safest Trim Level Value. Among our sought-after safety features, the base 2.5 S provides LED exterior lights (auto on-off headlights, DRLs, and taillights) and high-beam assist. Rain-sensing wipers and eight airbags are also standard. Numbered among its advanced safety and driver-aid technologies are ACC, LKA, LDW, DMS, and FCW with AEB. You can add an auto-dimming rearview mirror for $275.

Stepping up to the Select ($24,900) gains you outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals, BSM and RCTA. Stepping up to the Carbon Edition ($28,590) adds heated outboard mirrors. To add traffic-sign recognition and adaptive headlights, you must move up to the Premium ($30,800) grade. With the 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus ($34,700), you gain reverse automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera, and front/rear park assist. In terms of safety features and technology, we recommend sticking with the 2.5 S and opting for the auto-dimming rearview mirror.

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2022 Mazda CX-5

2022 Mazda CX-5

Best Safety Value: $26,575 (2.5 S + auto-dimming mirror)

Base Price: $26,250 | Expert Rating: 4.5

Combined Fuel Economy: 26 mpg

Starting with the 2022 model year, AWD is standard. We give the Mazda CX-5 high marks for its drivability, as well as its safety. Every CX-5 arrives with hill-start assist, auto on-off LED headlights, high-beam assist, and rain-sensing wipers. Power outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals are also included. FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection leads off the advanced safety and driver-aid technologies. Also standard are BSM, RCTA, LDW, LKA, and ACC. Mazda offers an auto-dimming rearview mirror as a $325 option.

Stepping up to the S Premium ($32,660) trim gains you adaptive front lights, heated outboard mirrors, and LED taillights. You can’t get any other advanced technologies until the top-of-the-heap 2.5 Turbo Signature grade at $39,000. It adds a surround-view camera, front/rear park assist, DMS, and Traffic Jam Assist. Although we’d like to add some of the safety features and technologies provided as you move up through the grade levels, spending the extra cash just for them doesn’t make sense. We say stay with the base 2.5 S and spring for the auto-dimming rearview mirror.

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2022 Mazda CX-9

2022 Mazda CX-9 profile

Best Safety Value: $35,955 (Sport + auto-dimming mirror)

Base Price: $35,630 | Expert Rating: 3.5

Combined Fuel Economy: 23 mpg

As with the other Mazda SUVs on this list, AWD is now standard on the CX-9. Handsome exterior styling and a high-end cabin highlight the positives of this midsize 3-row SUV. The base Sport comes with LED exterior lights (taillights, DRLs, and auto on-off headlights), high-beam assist, and rain-sensing wipers. Heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals and hill-start assist are also standard.

Like the CX-5 2.5 S, the CX-9 Sport comes with a full suite of advanced safety and driver-aid technologies. They include ACC, BSM, RCTA, LKA, LDW, and FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection. You must move up to the Carbon Edition ($43,930) to gain front/rear park assist, DSM, reverse automatic emergency braking, and adaptive headlights. The Grand Touring ($44,790) adds traffic-sign recognition and a surround-view camera. Our advice is to choose the Sport and add the $325 auto-dimming rearview mirror.

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2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S

Best Safety Value: $59,475 (GLE 350 + Driver Assistance and Premium Pkgs)

Base Price: $56,150 | Expert Rating: 4.3

Combined Fuel Economy: 22 mpg

Thanks to a variety of powertrain choices, your Mercedes-Benz GLE can be anything from an elegant family hauler to a barn-storming missile. Only its base 350 comes with RWD. In its entry-level guise, it comes with auto on-off LED headlights, LED taillights, and heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals. An auto-dimming rearview mirror, rain-sensing wipers, and high-beam assist are also standard. As for advanced safety and driver-aid technologies, they include front/rear park assist, hands-free park assistance, and BSM. FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection and DMS are included, too.

For $1,950, you can add the Driver Assistance Package Plus. It gains you a grocery list of advanced technologies like RCTA with automatic braking, BSM with steering assist, LCA, LKA, LCA, and more. The $1,375 Premium Package includes a surround-view camera, among other features. None of the higher trims add much to the safety story beyond the 350 and its options. We’d go with that.

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2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

Best Safety Value: $29,545 (SE)

Base Price: $26,495 | Expert Rating: 3.6

Combined Fuel Economy: 27 mpg

All new for 2022, the 3-row Mitsubishi Outlander shares some DNA with the Nissan Rogue. Like the Rogue, the Outlander has a healthy number of advanced safety technologies. The Outlander’s base model is the ES 2.5. Among our recommended safety features are auto on-off LED headlights, high-beam assist, hill-start assist, and 11 airbags. Outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals are standard, too. Leading off the advanced safety and driver-aid technologies is FCA with AEB and pedestrian detection. Also included are BSM, RCTA, LCA, LDA, DMS, and rear park assist. MI-PILOT is a semi-autonomous driver-assistance system that can steer, accelerate, and brake the vehicle in certain conditions. It is standard, as well.

You can pick up headlight washers and windshield-wiper de-icers by opting for AWD ($1,800). However, we recommend stepping up a grade to the SE ($29,545). It gains you LED fog lights, heated outboard mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, LDW with steering assist, and a surround-view camera. You also get traffic-sign recognition and front park assist. Moving up to the SEL ($32,645) gains an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a head-up display in a $2,700 Touring Package. Nope. We’d stay with the SE.

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2022 Nissan Murano

2022 Nissan Murano

Best Safety Value: $36,850 (SV)

Base Price: $33,310 | Expert Rating: 3.7

Combined Fuel Economy: 23 mpg

A pleasant 2-row midsize SUV, the Nissan Murano is getting a little long in the tooth, but still provides plenty of advanced safety and driver-aid tech. And, obviously, NHTSA and IIHS are fans. Among our should-have safety features are LED exterior lights (auto on-off headlights, taillights, and DRLs), high-beam assist, and 10 airbags. Hill-start assist is standard as well. The base Murano S provides a basic bundle of advanced technologies. They include FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, BSM, RCTA with emergency rear braking, and LDW with steering.

To us, moving up to the Murano SV ($36,850) makes plenty of sense. It adds heated outboard mirrors, LED fog lights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, adaptive cruise control, and front park assist. Moving up one more level to the SL ($40,810) gains you a surround-view camera and traffic-sign recognition. We’d stick with the SV.

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2022 Subaru Ascent

2022 Subaru Ascent Limited near hills in red

Best Safety Value: $35,295 (Premium)

Base Price: $32,795 | Expert Rating: 4.3

Combined Fuel Economy: 23 mpg

There are a lot more good things about the AWD Subaru Ascent than just its safety resume, but we’ll stick to the safety theme. Typically, we advise leapfrogging the Base version of most Subaru models in favor of the Premium trim because there is so little difference in price. It’s still solid advice; however, it’s not as persuasive when the topic is safety. Although the Premium provides a lot of additional content, only a small portion of it has to do with safety. The Base trim comes with auto on-off adaptive LED headlights, high-beam assist, and seven airbags. Leading off the advanced safety technologies are FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, LKA, and ACC with LCA.

Moving up a notch to Premium ($35,295) gains you heated outboard mirrors, BSM with steering assist, and RCTA. We are still going to give the nod to the Premium grade. There is just so much other value there (8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, and so forth).

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2022 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid

2022 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid in blue.

Best Safety Value: $36,746 (Base + auto-dimming mirror)

Base Price: $36,345 | Expert Rating: 4.2

Combined Fuel Economy: 90 MPGe/35 mpg

The Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid (PHEV) begins with the gas-fueled Crosstrek’s Premium CVT trim and builds from there. It arrives standard with AWD. Subaru considers this grade the top-end Crosstrek model. Among our recommended features, it provides high-beam assist, reverse automatic braking, auto on-off adaptive LED headlights, and a windshield wiper de-icer. Also included are the EyeSight bundle of safety features, FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, BSM with lane-change assist, RCTA, and LED fog lights. Seven airbags are also standard.

As you can see, the Crosstrek PHEV offers a rich collection of safety features and technologies. Although Subaru offers a few options, the only one that really applies to safety is the $401 auto-dimming rearview mirror with a HomeLink transceiver. Adding that still keeps you well under $40,000.

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2022 Subaru Forester

2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness driving in forest

Best Safety Value: $25,895 (Base)

Base Price: $25,895 | Expert Rating: 4.3

Combined Fuel Economy: 29 mpg

For 2022, Subaru made some changes to the Forester’s exterior and added a new trim level. However, none of it had anything to do with safety. As with nearly every Subaru model, the Forester comes with AWD. Among our recommended safety features on the Base model are auto vehicle hold (hill-start assist), auto on-off adaptive LED headlights, and high-beam assist. The EyeSight Driver Assist Technologies include ACC with LCA, LDW with steering assist, and FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection.

Added with the Premium ($28,895) grade are heated outboard mirrors, a windshield-wiper de-icer, fog lights, and hill-descent control. Although you are supposed to be able to add BSM with steering assist and RCTA as an option package, it is currently unavailable because of the microchip shortage. That means you must step up to the Sport ($30,465) to get those technologies. Sport also provides outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals and LED fog lights. We’d stay with the Base trim. The Forester is one of those SUVs on which NHTSA performed its new side-impact protocol. It scored Acceptable.

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2022 Subaru Outback

2022 Subaru Outback Touring XT driving in brown

Best Safety Value: $27,645 (Base)

Base Price: $27,645 | Expert Rating: 4.6

Combined Fuel Economy: 29 mpg

The Subaru Outback is a model with station wagon roots that has evolved to be more like an SUV. With standard AWD and a generous cargo area, the Outback is practical, easy to live with, and fuel efficient. Even the Base trim arrives with seven airbags, hill-descent control, auto vehicle hold (hill-start assist), auto on-off adaptive LED headlights, and high-beam assist. Also included are LED fog lights. Some of the Outback’s safety and driver-aid tech is bundled it its EyeSight Driver Assist. It provides FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, ACC, LCA, and LDW.

Because of the microchip shortage, you can no longer add BSM and RCTA as options to the Premium ($29,845) grade. You must step up to the Limited ($34,295) trim to gain those as standard. We don’t believe that makes value sense. Therefore, we’d stay with the Base trim.

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2022 Tesla Model Y

2022 Tesla Model Y

Best Safety Value: $65,990 (Long Range)

Base Price: $65,990 | Expert Rating: 4.1

Combined Fuel Economy: 122 MPGe

There’s more to the Tesla Model Y Long Range than vegan seats, a 330-mile range, and a 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds. It provides many of our sought-after safety features like eight airbags, auto on-off LED headlights, high-beam assist, and fog lights. Also included are heated, auto-dimming outboard mirrors. Its advanced safety and driver-aid technologies are FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, BSM with steering assist, LDW, and LKW. ACC is standard as well.

Pop for another $12,000, and you can score what Tesla calls Full Self-Driving Capability. It can accelerate, brake, steer, and change lanes on its own under certain conditions. It also includes full self-parking and Autopilot navigation. Its Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control system automatically obeys stop signs and traffic lights. The Summon function allows you to call your vehicle to come to your location or some other location remotely. This all sounds like a lot of fun, but our advice is to skip it. Go with the more affordable standard Long Range.

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2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

Best Safety Value: $24,795 (LE)

Base Price: $22,445 | Expert Rating: 4.0

Combined Fuel Economy: 32 mpg

That the Corolla car and the Toyota Corolla Cross SUV share a nameplate is no coincidence. They also share a platform, engine, and other bits. Toyota hopes to spread some Corolla marketing pixie dust on the Corolla Cross. Among our recommended safety features, the Corolla Cross L starts the list with LED exterior lights (auto on-off headlights, fog lights, and brake lights). Also standard are high-beam assist, heated outboard mirrors, nine airbags, and hill-start assist. FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, LDW with steering assist, LTA, and ACC are included, too.

Stepping up to the LE ($24,795) gains outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals, BSM, and RCTA. Continue on to the XLE ($26,575), and you get LED DRLs, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, RTCA with automatic emergency braking, and front/rear park assist with braking. Although spending an extra $2,350 to add the LE’s additional safety contents may seem pricey, we’d do it — particularly when weighing the other upgrades the LE trim provides. NHTSA hasn’t safety-tested the Corolla Cross yet.

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2022 Toyota Highlander

2022 Toyota Highlander

Best Safety Value: $38,055 (LE)

Base Price: $35,855 | Expert Rating: 4.5

Combined Fuel Economy: 24 mpg

We are happy the Toyota Highlander is on this list. It’s a standout in the midsize SUV arena and a top-tier family hauler. Among our recommended safety features, the Highlander provides eight airbags, hill-start assist, auto on-off LED headlights, and LED taillights in its L ($35,855) trim. Also included are heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals, a windshield-wiper de-icer, high-beam assist, and fog lights. Toyota also tosses in a rearview camera washer. The list of advanced safety and driver-aid technologies kicks off with FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection. Also standard are junction-turning assist (JTA), ACC, road-sign recognition, LTA, LDW, and LKA.

Moving up to the LE ($38,055) brings with it BSM, RCTA, and LED fog lights. The $41,055 XLE gains an auto-dimming rearview mirror. We’d spring for the LE to get its extra safety features, as well as the other goodies it provides.

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2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Best Safety Value: $40,300 (SE)

Base Price: $40,300 | Expert Rating: 4.8

Combined Fuel Economy: 94 MPGe/38 mpg

Out of the Toyota RAV4 models, only the RAV4 Prime earned the IIHS TSP+. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the Prime can travel up to 42 miles on electric-only power. All-wheel drive is standard. From our list of should-have safety features, the base SE provides hill-start assist and LED exterior lights (auto on-off headlights, DRLs, and taillights). Toyota also includes heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals and eight airbags.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is standard on every 2022 RAV4. It includes FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, LDW with steering assist, and LTA. LDW with steering assist, ACC, high-beam assist, and traffic-sign recognition. BSM and RCTA are standard, too. In the way of safety, all you gain by moving up to the XSE ($43,625) is an auto-dimming rearview mirror. For safety, the SE is the grade. NHTSA hasn’t tested the RAV4 Prime.

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2022 Volkswagen ID.4

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 in blue.

Best Safety Value: $41,230 (Pro)

Base Price: $41,230 | Expert Rating: 4.4

Combined Fuel Economy: 107 MPGe

Unlike many electric vehicles with exterior styling that screams “I’m electric!,” the Volkswagen ID.4 looks very much like any other compact SUV. We like that. We also appreciate its high level of safety. Among our list of safety features, you will find LED exterior lights (auto on-off headlights, DRLs, and taillights). Also standard are heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and high-beam assist. Heading the list of advanced safety and driver-aid tech is FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection. Other standard advanced tech includes front/rear park assist, LKA, BSM with steering assist, RCTA, and ACC.

All you gain by moving up to the Pro S ($45,730) trim are adaptive headlights. We do like this feature. However, we don’t recommend spending the additional $4,500 to acquire it. Nope. Stick with the Pro grade.

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2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

Volvo C40 Recharge

Best Safety Value: $58,750 (Ultimate)

Base Price: $58,750 | Expert Rating: 4.5

Combined Fuel Economy: 87 MPGe

The Volvo C40 Recharge is unique for three reasons. First, you can only purchase one online. Second, it’s the first Volvo electric model without a version at least partially fueled by gasoline. Third, Volvo only makes the C40 Recharge in the single Ultimate trim level. Therefore, all the available safety features and safety tech are incorporated into the Ultimate grade. All-wheel drive is standard. Volvo equips the Ultimate with adaptive LED headlights, high-beam assist, fog lights, and rain-sensing wipers. Auto-dimming mirrors (outboard and inside rearview), heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals, and headlight washers are standard, too.

Volvo has a comprehensive alphabet of safety and driver-aid technologies, beginning with FCA with AEB and pedestrian detection. Also included are ACC, LKA with steering assist, LDW, DMS, BSM with steering assist, and RCTA with emergency braking. Front/rear park assist, traffic-sign recognition, and a surround-view camera make the grade, as well. Volvo’s Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driver-assistance technology is also standard. It accelerates, brakes, and steers the vehicle under certain conditions. NHTSA hasn’t yet crash-tested the C40 Recharge.

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2022 Volvo XC40

2022 XC40 R Crystal White Pearl

Best Safety Value: $39,150 (Momentum + Advanced Pkg)

Base Price: $35,100 | Expert Rating: 4.5

Combined Fuel Economy: 26 mpg

Providing the foundation for the C40, the Volvo XC40 takes a more traditional approach to marketing. The entry-level T4 Momentum provides adaptive LED headlights, high-beam assist, LED fog lights with cornering, and rain-sensing wipers. Also included are auto-dimming mirrors (outboard and inside rearview), heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals, and seven airbags. Volvo adds several advanced safety and driver-aid technologies like FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection. Other tech includes BSM, RCTA with emergency braking, LDW, DMS, and LKA with steering assist, and rear park assist.

Kicking in another $4,050 for the Advanced Package gains you a surround-view camera, ACC, and Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driver-assistance system. That’s really the whole enchilada. Although the Momentum trim is loaded with safety features, if your budget allows, we’d recommend adding the option package. Neither the XC40 or the XC40 Recharge, which follows, has a NHTSA rating. This is also one of the SUVs subject to the new IIHS side-impact crash test. It scored Acceptable, retaining its TSP+ rating for 2022.

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2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge

Best Safety Value: $59,500 (Twin Ultimate)

Base Price: $51,700 | Expert Rating: 4.5

Combined Fuel Economy: 85 MPGe

This is the all-electric version of the XC40. We separated them because they don’t follow the same trim-level protocol. The Volvo XC40 Recharge is offered in an entry-level Core grade. However, the Twin Plus ($55,300) is where you want to start. It comes with all the safety features listed for the XC40 Momentum, as well as front park assist. It also provides the surround-view camera included in the Momentum’s Advanced Package. To gain ACC and Pilot Assist, you must move up to the Twin Ultimate ($58,150). We believe the ACC and Pilot Assist are worth the $2,850 bump in price. Besides, it also includes a 13-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system.

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2022 Volvo XC60

2022 Volvo XC60

Best Safety Value: $45,150 (Momentum + Advanced Pkg)

Base Price: $42,650 | Expert Rating: 3.8

Combined Fuel Economy: 26 mpg

A 3-word summation for the compact Volvo XC60 is stylish, utilitarian, and safe. A mild hybrid (MHEV), the XC60 provides a solid array of our safety features and safety tech. In fact, the entry-level Momentum grade offers it all as standard or available in the $2,500 Advanced Package. Among our preferred safety features are adaptive LED auto on-off headlights, LED taillights and fog lights, and high-beam assist. Other items are heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals, auto-dimming mirrors (outboard and interior rearview), and rain-sensing wipers. The XC60 also provides seven airbags. Leading off the advanced safety features are BSM with steering assist and RCTA with automatic emergency braking. Joining them are LKA with steering, LDW, FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, rear park assist, and DMS.

To round out the advanced safety and driver-aid technologies, pick up the Advanced Package with a surround-view camera, a head-up display, ACC, and Pilot Assist. Adding all those features for $2,500 makes sound sense. Neither the XC60 nor the XC60 Recharge below has been safety tested by the government.

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2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge

Best Safety Value: $56,750 (Inscription Expression + Advanced Pkg)

Base Price: $54,250 | Expert Rating: 3.8

Combined Fuel Economy: 57 MPGe/25 mpg

All-wheel drive is standard for the Volvo XC60 Recharge. Following the same pattern as the XC60 Momentum, the XC60 Recharge Inscription Expression trim offers all the standard safety features and safety tech as the Momentum. It also offers the $2,500 Advanced Package with the same content itemized above. Our opinion remains unchanged: The XC60 Recharge Inscription Expression with the Advanced Package is the way to go.

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2022 Volvo XC90

2022 Volvo XC90 Inscription

Best Safety Value: $52,750 (Momentum + Advanced Pkg)

Base Price: $50,900 | Expert Rating: 4.1

Combined Fuel Economy: 25 mpg

Volvo is rather confounding but formulaic in its approach to models and trims. The Volvo XC90 and XC90 Recharge are much like the XC60 and XC60 Recharge in content, just larger. A 3-row midsize SUV, the XC90 provides more people- and cargo-hauling capacity. The entry-level Momentum and its $1,850 Advanced Package deliver all the safety features and advanced driver-aid technologies the XC90 offers. One notable difference, however, is ACC is standard for the Momentum trim rather than included in the Advanced Package. Consequently, the cost of the Advanced Package is lower on the XC90. Moreover, Pilot Assist isn’t an available technology. We’d still go for the Momentum with the Advanced Package.

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2022 Volvo XC90 Recharge

2022 Volvo XC90 Recharge

Best Safety Value: $66,650 (Inscription Expression + Advanced Pkg)

Base Price: $64,800 | Expert Rating: 4.1

Combined Fuel Economy: 66 MPGe/26 mpg

With the Volvo XC90 Recharge, you want to go with the $65,895 Inscription Expression with the $1,850 Advanced Package. This combo will provide all the safety features and tech listed for our recommendation for the XC60. AWD is standard.

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The Safest Minivans

2022 Chrysler Pacifica

2022 Chrysler Pacifica

Best Safety Value: $37,095 (Touring)

Base Price: $37,095 | Expert Rating: 4.5

Combined Fuel Economy: 22 mpg

We like the availability of rear seats that fold flat with the cargo floor, making the Chrysler Pacifica one of the more versatile vehicles on the road. Gaining entry to the Pacifica is through the Touring ($37,095) grade. It’s the only trim level to which you can’t add AWD. However, it does come well supplied with our sought-after safety features beginning with rain-sensing wipers, eight airbags, and high-beam assist. Also included are an auto-dimming rearview mirror and heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals. Exterior LED lights (auto on-off headlights, DRLs, and fog lights) are standard as well. Featured among its safety and driver-aid tech are ACC and FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection. BSM, RCTA, LDW, and rear park assist with automatic emergency braking are also included.

For $41,125, you can step up to the Touring L trim. It gains a surround-view camera, front park assist, and ParkSense. ParkSense is a self-parking system that can park in a parallel or perpendicular space on its own. As valuable as we believe the surround-view monitor is, $4,000 is steep. We’d stay with the Touring trim.

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2022 Honda Odyssey

2022 Honda Odyssey Minivan

Best Safety Value: $33,040 (LX)

Base Price: $33,040 | Expert Rating: 4.6

Combined Fuel Economy: 22 mpg

To the Honda Odyssey’s accolades for its comfort, reliability, and resale values, you can add safety. The entry-level LX provides hill-start assist, eight airbags, auto on-off LED headlights, and high-beam assist. Its safety and driver-aid technologies are LKA, ACC, LDW, and traffic-sign recognition. FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection is also standard. Because Honda doesn’t offer factory-installed options for the Odyssey, you must move up through the trim levels to gain more features.

Pick the EX ($36,440) trim to add heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals, LED fog lights, BSM, and RCTA. You gain an auto-dimming rearview mirror with the $39,710 EX-L. We don’t like that you must pony up an additional $3,400 for the EX trim to get BSM and RCTA. Honda solved that problem by making the EX the Odyssey’s base trim for 2023. For 2022, we’d stick with the LX if you can find one.

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2022 Toyota Sienna

2022 Toyota Sienna Hybrid in charcoal.

Best Safety Value: $35,285 (LE)

Base Price: $35,285 | Expert Rating: 4.7

Combined Fuel Economy: 36

Toyota only offers the Sienna with a hybrid (HEV) powertrain. All-wheel drive is available. Among our recommended safety features on the base LE are auto on-off LED headlights and taillights. Also included are heated outboard mirrors, hill-start assist, 10 airbags, and high-beam assist. The advanced safety and driver-aid technologies consist of FCW with AEB and pedestrian detection, LDW with steering assist, and LTA. Also included are ACC, BSM, RCTA, and road-sign assist. The LE Plus Package ($2,375) adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a boatload of convenience goodies.

Stepping up to the $40,575 XLE grade gains LED fog lights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and front/rear park assist. With the XLE being almost a $5,300 bump in price, our advice is to stay with the LE.

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IIHS TSP Award Winners

2022 Kia Telluride

Every year, the IIHS gives out awards to the safest vehicles based on how they perform in the institute’s test. There are two tiers of awards: Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+) and Top Safety Pick (TSP). Here is the list of the SUVs and minivans that earned TSP accolades and NHTSA 5-Star ratings. These accolades also apply to the hybrid versions.

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