While sales of midsize sedans may be in slight decline, this segment remains a prime mover on the family car market. There are still millions of consumers who prize the subtlety and grounded feeling in this model that you don’t get in a crossover.
As a result, the race to build the safest midsize sedan continues among automakers with the top products on the U.S. market. The upgrading of the Camry for the 2015 model year is the perfect example. Not content with a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS, Toyota made sure its 2015 Camry received the Top Safety Pick+ designation to keep pace with the Honda Accord and others in the segment.
Five-star safety ratings from the NHTSA are equally coveted by the biggest car companies. For the 2016 model year, there was a very strong showing by automakers in crash tests, even though only two vehicles scored perfectly across the board. Here are the nine 2016 midsize sedans awarded five-star safety ratings with the breakdown of each crash test. Results are from Safercar.gov.
1. 2016 Toyota Camry
Toyota Camry, that perennial bestseller and very American car, got its five-star safety rating from the NHTSA for the 2016 gasoline and hybrid models. Both vehicles scored a perfect five stars in side crash tests and four of five stars in rollover and frontal crash tests. Passenger-side protection rated at five stars, while the driver’s side took four of five stars. Recommended forward collision and lane departure warnings, enabled on the 2015 Camry Hybrid we tested, deliver a complete safety package.
2. 2016 Chrysler 200
Though the Chrysler 200 doesn’t post half the sales of Camry, the 2016 model-year sedan does have the Toyota’s number on crash tests. The 200 nailed a perfect five stars in both frontal and side crash tests en route to its five-star rating. Its lone demerit came in the rollover test where it landed four stars. Chrysler’s upgraded midsize is doubling its previous year’s sales totals in 2015.
3. 2016 Mazda6
For whatever reason, the universally loved Mazda6 is never a top seller on the U.S. market. We dare you to find a bad review of this car online. (See the Autos Cheat Sheet quick drive.) Likewise, the NHTSA had trouble finding faults with the safety specs of the 6. It nailed down perfect scores in the frontal and side crash tests and notched four stars on the rollover test. This model also received Top Safety Pick+ designation for 2016.
4. 2016 Hyundai Sonata
It’s hard to ignore how far Sonata has come in terms of curb appeal, but Hyundai’s midsize entry has had a five-star safety for many years running. The 2016 model landed perfect scores in the front and side crash tests by the NHTSA while scoring four stars in the rollover test. Sonata Hybrid 2016 models like the one we tested shared the five-star rating. This car has also been named a Top Safety Pick+ for 2016.
5. 2016 Ford Fusion
Though it has been overtaken by Escape on the sales charts, Fusion continues to be Ford’s bestselling car on the U.S. market. In terms of safety, the standard, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid 2016 models all received five-star ratings from the NHTSA. This score broke down for the hybrid and gas models into a perfect score for the frontal test and four stars for the other two tests. The Fusion Energi plug-in scored higher than the other two models with five stars in both frontal and side crash tests.
6. 2016 Honda Accord
A perennial powerhouse in both sales and safety ratings, the Honda Accord did not slip in the slightest in the 2016 model year. Accord landed its five-star rating for both two-door and four-door models on the power of perfect scores in side and rollover crash tests. (It scored four stars in the frontal crash tests.) The IIHS reiterated its Top Safety Pick+ designation for Accord in the 2016 model year.
7. 2016 Chevy Malibu Limited
While consumers await the redesigned Chevy Malibu, the 2016 Limited model received a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. This midsize edition landed its top safety rating with perfect scores in frontal and side crash tests as well as four stars in the rollover test. Chevy will hope to nab top scores in the new standard Malibu and hybrid model set to debut in late 2015.
8. 2016 Subaru Legacy
It’s difficult to top the safety bona fides of Subaru, the automaker with vehicles crowding every Top Safety Pick and five-star list there is. The midsize Legacy is no different. For the 2016 model, Subaru landed its typical five stars through perfect scores in all three crash tests. Legacy has also landed the Top Safety Pick+ designation for the 2016 model year.
9. 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid
Though results of the standard 2016 have yet to be published by the NHTSA, we do know the Kia Optima Hybrid has its five-star rating for the latest model year. This midsize looker nailed its top safety rating on the basis of perfect scores in the front, side, and rollover crash tests. It joins Legacy as the second of two midsize sedans to score perfectly in each test by the NHTSA.
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