Crossover & Midsize

The Safest Small SUVs of 2020 You Shouldn’t Ignore

SUVs are really popular vehicles these days, and the smaller ones are a popular size for buyers, too. Many buyers also have safety high on their must-have list, especially since SUVs are great for transporting families. Carfax recently took a look at some safe small SUVs, and Mazda ranks highly on both the compact and subcompact lists. The 2020 Subaru Forester and 2020 Mazda CX-5 top the list of safest compact SUVs, while the 2020 Mazda CX-3 and 2021 Hyundai Kona lead the list of safest subcompact SUVs.

2020 Subaru Forester

The 2020 Subaru Forester comes in first on the Carfax list of 16 safest compact SUVs of 2020. The Forester comes standard with Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driver-assist features as well as a rear-seat reminder. EyeSight provides adaptive cruise control, advanced adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and sway warning, pre-collision braking, and pre-collision throttle management. Additional safety features, including blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert, are options. The top Touring trim also includes additional safety features, like reverse automatic braking and DriverFocus, which helps cut down on distracted and fatigued driving.

The 2020 Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive, providing the SUV with great traction. It also comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The 2020 Forester is also an IIHS 2020 Top Safety Pick+. It received a five out of five from the NHTSA.

2020 Mazda CX-5

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The 2020 Mazda CX-5 is second on the list of safest compact SUVs of 2020. It now has adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and blind-spot monitoring standard for 2020. However, the automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection don’t work at speeds higher than 50 mph.

All trims of the CX-5 except the base one come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, allowing for hands-free phone use and reducing driver distractions. The 2020 CX-5 is also an IIHS 2020 Top Safety Pick+ and received five out of five from the NHTSA.

2020 Mazda CX-3

On Carfax’s list of the 17 safest subcompact SUVs for 2020, the 2020 Mazda CX-3 came in first. The 2020 CX-3 comes standard with the Mazda i-Activesense suite of driver-assist features. That includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, pedestrian detection, and a head-up display.

The CX-3 does also come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. This subcompact SUV is an IIHS 2020 Top Safety Pick+. It also received five out of five from the NHTSA.

2021 Hyundai Kona

Coming in second on the list of safest subcompact SUVs is the 2021 Hyundai Kona. The 2021 Kona comes standard with automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and a driver attention warning system. All trims except the lowest one also come with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Skipping up to the top Ultimate trim adds adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection.

All-wheel drive is available but not standard on all trim levels. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trims of the 2021 Kona. The 2021 Kona is an IIHS 2020 Top Safety Pick. It received five out of five from the NHTSA.

Carfax took a look at small SUVs available during 2020, examining ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These ratings along with the advanced driver-assist features included in the SUVs helped determine which compact and subcompact SUVs made the lists. Buyers looking for small and safe SUVs should consider the 2020 Subaru Forester, 2020 Mazda CX-5, 2020 Mazda CX-3, and 2021 Hyundai Kona.