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For many car shoppers, a vehicle’s affordability or safety standards are the most important factors. However, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive; potential owners can choose one of the small, cheap cars to earn Top Safety Pick+ ratings. Check out the safe, small cars on the list that promise not to break the bank, like the 2022 Honda Civic and the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek. 

What is the safest smallest car?

These four small cars are some of the safest options on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS’) list of Top Safety Pick+ vehicles: 

  • 2022, 2023 Honda Civic
  • 2022, 2023 Mazda3
  • 2022 Toyota Corolla
  • 2022, 2023 Subaru Crosstrek

Better yet, the most expensive vehicle on this list, the 2023 Honda Civic, starts at around $25,050 for the Sport trim. As a result, these options are both safe and cheap. Other vehicles have 2022 and 2023 Top Safety Pick+ ratings, but some demand a higher ask. For instance, the new 2023 Acura Integra starts at about $32,495, making it more expensive than these budget-friendly small, cheap cars. 

Is the 2022 Honda Civic safe?

The 2022 and 2023 Honda Civic earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS. That’s the highest score the agency gives to modern vehicles. It’s not just the Civic Sedan, either; the hatchback variant also earned the top rating. 

Additionally, the 2022 Honda Civic starts at around $23,645, making it one of the cheapest small cars with a commendable safety rating. However, the 2023 model demands an extra $2,500. 

A small, red 2022 Honda Civic blasts down a safe city street away from other cars.
Honda Civic | Honda

Still, the Civic’s bill of health isn’t flawless; the Honda model earned an “Acceptable” rating in the updated side crashworthiness test. Moreover, the Civic earned an “Advanced” rating instead of a range-topping “Superior” score in the vehicle-to-pedestrian nighttime evaluation, per the IIHS’ website

Is the 2023 Mazda3 a safe, cheap car?

The 2023 Mazda3 earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating in both the hatchback and sedan platforms. Moreover, with a starting price of around $22,550, the small, cheap Mazda car is one of the most affordable options with that IIHS safety rating. 

The 2022 Mazda3 also earned a five-star crashworthiness rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Also, with optional all-wheel drive (AWD), the Mazda3 is a grippy cheap car prospect for potential owners tackling challenging climates. 

What is the safety rating of the 2022 Toyota Corolla?

The 2022 Toyota Corolla earned a five-star rating from the NHTSA. However, the Corolla earned a four-star rating in the rollover resistance test. Still, the Toyota model also snagged a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS for both the sedan and hatchback. 

Moreover, with a starting price of about $20,425 for the L trim and $20,875 for the LE, the Corolla is a cheap, safe car option. 

Are the 2022 and 2023 Subaru Crosstrek small, cheap cars with top safety scores?

Of the cheap, small cars on IIHS’ list, the 2022 and 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is one of the few options with standard AWD. Moreover, the Crosstrek’s Top Safety Pick+ rating compliments the Subaru model’s standard all-wheel grip. Also, with a starting price of $23,645, the Crosstrek is a solid cheap vehicle in the segment. 

A safe, small 2023 Subaru Crosstrek shows off liftback car proportions with bright blue paintwork.
2023 Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

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Should you consider one of these small, cheap cars?

Each of these cheap, small cars earned top marks from the IIHS and NHTSA regarding safety. Moreover, their starting prices are budget-friendly ways to get a practical vehicle that seats up to five. 

What do you think about these cheap cars with top safety credentials? Tell us in the comments below!