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The 16 Safest Cars And Subaru’s Safe Affordable Model

Which are the safest new cars you can buy? Subaru's production of one of the safest new models you can buy today, the smallest and least expensive model they sell, is a testament to this. Here is how they did it. 

It’s affordable and safe.

You don't have to buy an expensive luxury car to get the safest vehicle. Despite being Subaru's smallest and cheapest model, the Impreza stands tall among the best, offering a compelling blend of safety and affordability.

There are some surprises if you are looking for the safest new cars. Only three Subaru models are Top Safety Pick winners in this year's Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awards. Subaru's cheapest model in North America is also one of the safest: the 2024 Impreza compact hatchback. 

It's a pleasant surprise to find the Impreza among the most impressive cars on the list, recognized by Kelly Blue Book as one of the safest new cars of 2024. The 2024 Subaru Impreza compact hatchback truly stands out. 

Kelly Blue Book says, "Manufacturers make vehicles safer than those from 10 years ago. However, some are safer than others."

Credit Subaru for its core value.

Safety is a core value for Subaru Corporation, and it's more than words. Subaru Corporation's production of the least expensive model in its lineup of all-wheel-drive vehicles, which is also the brand's next-safest model, is a testament to this.

KBB's criteria for the safest.

Kelly Blue Book says they looked for cars with top scores in IIHS and NHTSA testing. With those in hand, they narrowed the field among the trim levels within each model based on standard and available active safety features such as forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.

Subaru's Impreza fits the criteria.

KBB's Best Safety Value is the Impreza Base trim level.

  • The Impreza Base Price is $24,115 with an expert rating of 4.3
  • Impreza's combined fuel economy is 30 mpg

Here is my 2024 Subaru Impreza pricing guide for more model and trim information. 

KBB's report highlights the Impreza's comprehensive safety features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, adaptive LED headlights, and high-beam assist, all of which contribute to its safety value.

KBB says, "Redesigned for 2024, the newest Impreza earned a spot on the IIHS TSP roster. Subaru now offers the Impreza as a hatchback only. More refined than its predecessor, the Impreza provides Symmetrical AWD as standard. Despite its drive, Impreza's 152-hp 4-cylinder engine delivers an above-average-for-its-class 30 mpg in mixed driving. The entry-level Impreza (called Base) includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, adaptive LED headlights, and high-beam assist."

"Spending the $2,000 to move up to the Sport gains a lot of goodies like an 11.6-inch touchscreen but no additional safety features. However, it is the gateway to an option package with blind-spot monitoring, lane-change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert. That adds another $2,000 to the price. Although we'd move up to the Sport trim, it would be for all the other extras and not the access for the option package. As far as safety goes, the Base is the best value."

I've listed KBB's Safest Car List. It includes all 2024 model-year vehicles and is in alphabetical order. 

  • Acura Integra
  • BMW 5 Series
  • Genesis Electrified G80
  • Genesis G80
  • Genesis G90
  • Honda Accord
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Hyundai Ioniq 6
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Mazda3
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Crown
  • Toyota Prius
  • Toyota Prius Prime

How well can you see?

So, how did Subaru achieve this feat? The answer lies in the standard inclusion of Subaru's suite of safety technology, EyeSight, in every 2024 Subaru Impreza. This innovative system, which KBB did not mention, plays a significant role in Impreza's safety. 

Subaru's EyeSight driver assist technology features a Pre-collision Braking System, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, and Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering.  

EyeSight helped the Subaru Impreza earn the highest IIHS grades for crashworthiness, crash avoidance and mitigation (headlights and pedestrian safety tech), and seat belts and child restraints. 

Other available safety features

  • Standard daytime running lights
  • Optional blind spot detection
  • Standard lane departure warning

Subaru has two more Top Safety Picks.

The 2024 Subaru Outback midsize SUV and 2024 Subaru Solterra EV are also IIHS Top Safety Pick winners for 2024.  

The 2024 Subaru Ascent is Subaru's largest and safest model, and it is the only Subaru model to earn the highest Top Safety Pick Plus award. 

Where are the other Subaru models?

Where are the 2024 Subaru Forester compact SUV, Crosstrek subcompact SUV, Legacy midsize sedan, WRX performance car, and BRZ sport coupe in the IIHS safety rankings? None of the five models earned the IIHS awards. 

New Stricter Requirements

Subaru has four top safety winners thanks to the IIHS's new stricter requirements for better protection for back seat passengers and improved pedestrian crash avoidance systems. My Subaru safety report, which you can read here, has further information. 

Subaru of America President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Walters said, "Subaru's commitment to safety is renewed daily in the cars and SUVs we deliver to our customers. With tougher criteria again for 2024, we're proud to be recognized by the IIHS this year with Top Safety Pick awards."

Subaru will have to update its safety technology to comply with the new criteria set forth by the IIHS. Will the 2025 and 2026 model year Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, and other Subaru vehicles meet the more challenging requirements? Stay tuned. 

Regardless of Subaru's other model's test scores, the Japanese automaker's production of a safe new model—the smallest and cheapest vehicle they sell—is a testament to its quality.

How much does a vehicle's safety score affect your buying a new car? Click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Subaru