Only 1 Affordable American SUV Is Very Safe for Surviving a Crash
With thousands of deaths from car crashes each year, safety is a crucial factor in vehicles. This is especially the case for SUVs. They are often the choice for families and tend to have more passengers than other vehicle types. However, for affordable non-luxury American SUVs that are very safe for surviving a crash, there are not many choices. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there’s only one: the 2023 Ford Explorer. It won a 2023 IIHS Top Safety Pick award.
2023 Ford Explorer is the only non-luxury American SUV that won a 2023 IIHS Top Safety Pick award
Americans are increasingly buying SUVs instead of sedans. More than half of vehicle purchases in the United States are SUVs. Unfortunately, if you place a premium on safety, SUVs from domestic automakers leave much to be desired.
Recently, IIHS unveiled its 2023 awards, which are based on rigorous crash tests and other car safety evaluations. And the only affordable non-luxury American SUV to get one is the 2023 Ford Explorer. The Ford midsize SUV, which has a starting price of $36,760 MSRP, earned a Top Safety Pick award.
While two other American SUVs earned safety awards, they are both higher-priced luxury models: the 2023 Lincoln Nautilus ($44,825 MSRP) and the 2023 Tesla Model Y ($47,240 MSRP). Like the Explorer, the Nautilus earned a Top Safety Pick award. The Model Y achieved the highest-tier Top Safety Pick+ honor.
Ford Explorer performed well in crash tests
The reason why the 2023 Ford Explorer earned a 2023 Top Safety Pick award is it performed well in crash tests and other IIHS safety evaluations. It achieved perfect scores in many areas, including roof strength, front and side impact crash tests, front crash prevention (vehicle-to-vehicle), seats, and head restraints.
However, there were several areas in which the Explorer achieved lower scores, which prevented the American SUV from getting the highest-tier Top Safety Pick+ award. This includes headlights, seat belt reminders, front crash prevention (vehicle-to-pedestrian), and the LATCH system for attaching child seats.
For a mainstream American SUV, though, the Explorer is the safest choice.
What other affordable SUVs earned a 2023 IIHS award?
While the 2023 Ford Explorer is the only affordable non-luxury American SUV to earn an IIHS safety award, the organization honored many foreign models. For the small SUV segment, this includes the Toyota Venza, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-30, Mazda CX-5, Mazda CX-50, Subaru Forester, Subaru Solterra, and Nissan Rogue.
Along with the Explorer, affordable mainstream midsize SUVs with an IIHS award include the Toyota Highlander, Subaru Ascent, Nissan Pathfinder, Volkswagen ID.4, Mazda CX-9, Kia Telluride, and Hyundai Palisade. However, IIHS didn’t honor vehicles from the full-size SUV segment.
Car safety is an element that many people take for granted. For most, driving is a routine activity. We drive every day without ever having a car accident. However, a crash can happen anytime — and it only takes one to cause injuries or death.
And for those that want an affordable non-luxury American SUV, the 2023 Ford Explorer is the safest for surviving a car crash.