Safest AWD Luxury Cars: Top Safety Pick+ Midsize Sedans to Check Out

Some of the safest midsize luxury cars now pack helpful all-wheel drive (AWD). That’s excellent news for potential owners who live in challenging climates with copious rain, snow, or even ice. Better yet, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave these AWD luxury options Top Safety Pick+ ratings for their crashworthiness and crash prevention. Check out some of the safest AWD midsize sedans with luxury comfort, like the Audi A3 and Lexus ES. 

  • Acura TLX
  • Audi A3
  • Audi A4
  • Lexus ES
  • Volvo S60
  • Tesla Model 3

Is the Acura TLX a safe car?

The Acura TLX is a safe car, with top ratings from the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). First, the TLX earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS, meaning it scored “Good” ratings in each crashworthiness category, like front and side impact testing. Moreover, the Acura luxury car earned a five-star rating from the NHTSA. Also, the TLX offers optional AWD on most trims and standard AWD in the sporty Type S trim. 

The Acura TLX, like the Lexus ES is one of the safest AWD luxury cars on a midsize sedan's dimensions.
Acura TLX | Honda

Is the Audi A3 one of the safest AWD midsize luxury cars?

It’s no secret that Audis pack one of the most well-established AWD systems in the world. However, much of the Audi lineup also earned top safety ratings from the IIHS and NHTSA. The A3, the smallest of the Audi luxury sedan lineup, is no different. The diminutive A3 secures a Top Safety Pick+ rating and a five-star rating from the NHTSA. 

The Audi A3 is a safe midsize sedan with luxury credentials and AWD.
Audi A3 | Audi

However, potential owners who want Audi’s tried and true Quattro AWD system on their A3 will have to stretch; it’s a $2,000 option for either of the sedan’s two trims. 

Does the Audi A4 have AWD?

Unlike the A4’s more affordable sibling, the A3, the Audi A4 packs standard Quattro AWD across its six trims. Moreover, the comfortable luxury midsize sedan earned a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. The only blemish on the A4’s otherwise perfect IIHS score sheet is the Premium and Premium Plus trim’s headlight assessment, wherein the A4’s left-side high beam visibility was “inadequate.” However, starting at $40,995, the safe midsize sedan is cheaper than a comparable BMW 3 Series, which doesn’t have the same top safety ratings. 

Is the Lexus ES one of the safest AWD midsize luxury cars?

The Lexus ES is one of the safest midsize luxury sedan options, according to the IIHS. It received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the agency and a five-star rating from the NHTSA. That means the ES managed to score top marks in every category. Better yet, the ES offers AWD with its four-cylinder engine options. Unfortunately, that means the 302-horsepower 3.5L V6 goes without the assistance of all-wheel propulsion.

The Lexus ES is a safe midsize sedan, and one of the safest AWD luxury cars.
Lexus ES | Toyota

Is the Volvo S60 the safest car?

The Volvo S60 is one of the safest midsize luxury cars, but not necessarily the safest. For instance, the S60 received an “Acceptable” score in the child seat anchors category for the T6 Momentum trim. However, the S60 still managed “Good” scores in every major crashworthiness category and earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating overall. 

Moreover, the Volvo S60 features optional AWD, and for potential owners who want an EV, the S60 Recharge earned similar safety ratings.   

Is the Tesla Model 3 one of the safest AWD luxury cars?

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the market’s safest EVs and AWD luxury options. First, the Model 3 received top scores in every major category of the IIHS’ evaluations with a Top Safety Pick+ overall. Moreover, the architecture of the Model 3 makes it resilient in the event of a frontal impact, and its roof strength is industry-leading. 

Interestingly, the Model 3, like many EVs with low centers of gravity, resists rollovers during side impacts. The result is an EV that refuses to roll over and has ample roof strength to resist crushing. 


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