Car Safety Systems Becoming Standard in Some Models
Timothy Boyer's picture

Consumer Reports Car Analysts Recommend These Compact SUVs Stocked With Popular Standard Safety Features

Looking for a compact SUV, but really want the active safety systems typically offered only in higher-end models? Here’s Consumer Reports analysts latest recommended selections of compact SUVs that can help you find the level of safety in the affordable ride you are looking for in a car deal today.
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Safety Features

When it comes to car safety, there’s no substitute for the growing demand for cars outfitted with active safety systems that help drivers and their passengers stay safe on the road.

For me as I am getting older and having a harder time cranking my neck to my left checking for blind spot traffic, the blind spot warning (BSW) safety feature on our family car has been a Godsend that I am sure has prevented several near-miss accidents. While having BSW does not relieve a driver from taking the time and neck pain of checking the surroundings, it does add some level of comfort knowing that you have it watching your back.

Standard active safety systems include:

Forward Collision Warning---Forward collision warning is designed to alert you of an impending collision with a slower moving or stationary car in front of you. However, bear in mind that forward collision warning alone will not automatically brake for you and should not be mistaken for Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) or Full Self Driving (FSD) available in some makes of cars.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)---As the name suggests, automatic emergency braking activates a car's brakes when a potential collision is detected---without the driver actually touching the brake pedal. And not only that, but it also increases the braking force if the driver is not applying enough force to the brakes to prevent a collision. Some AEB systems are also designed with sensors to detect pedestrians and cyclists.

Blind Spot Warning (BSW)---Is a system that uses cameras, radar, and/or ultrasonic sensors alongside your vehicle to detect vehicles you can’t see that are next to or behind your car. In the basic system, the driver will see a visual warning in the sideview mirror. In more feature-heavy systems, that warning may also include an audible beep or steering wheel vibration if you activated the turn signal and the sensors detect an unsafe merge or lane change about to occur.

Safety Features Are Not Standard in All Makes and Models

A recent update from Consumer Reports tells us that even though it is their concerted opinion that FCW, AEB and BSW should come standard on all models, sometimes those features only come standard on certain models or trim packages.

To help car buyers find affordable compact SUVs available ranging in price from $25,000 to $35,000 that come standard with active safety systems, their car analysts have come up with the following selection of compact SUVs that scored well in road tests, proven to be reliable, and carry some if not all the safety system features car owners typically only find in higher-end vehicles.

A summary of those vehicles is provided below:

1. 2021 Subaru Forester
Price Range: $24,795 - $34,895
CR MPG: Overall 28 mpg / City 20 / Hwy 38 mpg
Rated #1 of 19: Compact sport-utility vehicles

Standard Safety Systems
• FCW
• City AEB with pedestrian detection
• Highway AEB
Note: Subaru makes BSW optional on the Premium and Sport trim levels, and it isn't even available on the base trim.

2. 2021 Mazda CX-5
Price Range: $25,370 - $37,505
CR MPG: Overall 24 mpg / City 17 / Hwy 33 mpg
Rated #2 of 19: Compact sport-utility vehicles

Standard Safety Systems
• FCW
• City AEB with pedestrian detection
• Highway AEB
• BSW

3. 2021 Honda CR-V
Price Range: $25,350 - $36,350
CR MPG: Overall 28 mpg / City 20 / Hwy 37 mpg
Rated #3 of 19: Compact sport-utility vehicles

Standard Safety Systems
• FCW
• City AEB with pedestrian detection
• Highway AEB
Note: Though FCW and AEB are standard on all trim lines, BSW isn't available on the base LX trim; it's standard on all other versions.

4. 2021 Lexus UX
Price Range: $33,000 - $39,900
CR MPG: Overall 37 mpg / City 32 / Hwy 42 mpg
Rated #1 of 11: Luxury entry-level sport-utility vehicles

Standard Safety Systems
• FCW
• City AEB with pedestrian detection
• Highway AEB
• BSW

5. 2022 Hyundai Tucson
Price Range: $24,950 - $37,350
CR MPG: Overall 26 mpg / City 18 / Hwy 35 mpg
Rated #6 of 19: Compact sport-utility vehicles

Standard Safety Systems
• FCW
• AEB with pedestrian detection
• BSW
Note: Standard active safety and driver assist features include not only FCW, and AEB with pedestrian detection, but also automatic high beams, and a rear occupant alert.

6. 2021 Nissan Rogue
Price Range: $25,850 - $37,030
CR MPG: Overall 25 mpg / City 17 / Hwy 34 mpg
Rated #9 of 19: Compact sport-utility vehicles

Standard Safety Systems
• FCW
• City AEB with pedestrian detection
• Highway AEB
• BSW
Note: In addition to the above-mentioned systems, rear cross traffic warning is also standard.

7. 2021 Volvo XC40
Price Range: $33,700 - $53,990
CR MPG: Overall 24 mpg / City 16 / Hwy 33 mpg
Rated #4 of 11: Luxury entry-level sport-utility vehicles

Standard Safety Systems
• FCW
• City AEB with pedestrian detection
• Highway AEB
• BSW
Note: Buyers have to opt for a base version of the XC40 to come in under our $35,000 ceiling. But that base T4 version still includes standard FCW, AEB with pedestrian detection, and BSW.

8. 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman
Price Range: $29,100 - $41,500
CR MPG: Overall 25 mpg / City 17 / Hwy 36 mpg
Rated #6 of 11: Luxury entry-level sport-utility vehicles

Standard Safety Systems
• FCW
• City AEB with pedestrian detection
Note: Both FCW and AEB with pedestrian detection are standard, but BSW isn't available at all.

9. 2021 Toyota RAV4
Price Range: $26,250 - $37,330
CR MPG: Overall 27 mpg / City 19 / Hwy 38 mpg
Rated #12 of 19: Compact sport-utility vehicles

Standard Safety Systems
• FCW
• City AEB with pedestrian detection
• Highway AEB
Note: BSW is optional on the base LE trim; it's standard on all other versions.

For more about great car deals that save money, be sure to check out Consumer Reports Most Discounted New Cars to Buy Right Now.

COMING UP NEXT: Time is right to sell your used Tundra say Tundra owners.

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Timothy Boyer is Torque News Tesla and EV reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily Tesla and electric vehicle news.


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Comments

Any idea when 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrids will be available?
Hi, I looked it up, but not seeing anything yet. However, here is a Toyota media center contact number for Nicky Hamila 469-292-3596 [email protected] Who might be able to answer that question accurately. Good luck---looks like a great vehicle in the Bronze edition!