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If you want a sporty new or used car, the market has no shortage of opportunities for you. Small, sporty cars like the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Toyota GR86 offer two doors, sharp handling, and roadster fun. However, not all two-door coupes and convertibles out there are top-tier safe. Try one of these cars (or a hot hatch) to scratch your safest sports car itch without compromise. 

  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Subaru BRZ
  • Toyota GR86
  • Hyundai Veloster N

Is a Mazda MX-5 Miata a safe car?

Despite its diminutive size, the Mazda MX-5 is a relatively safe little sports car. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find data on the Miata from either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, the European vehicle safety agency, Euro NCAP, sought to figure out how safe Mazda MX-5 Miata would score

The Mazda MX-5 Miata, like the Toyota GR86, is one of the safest sports cars on the market.
Mazda MX-5 RF | Mazda

Euro NCAP tested a 2015 model and awarded it a four-star rating out of a possible five. That’s not bad for a small, fun roadster. In addition to crashworthiness, the recent MX-5 Miatas offer Mazda’s suite of active safety features, including the i-ACTIVSENSE system.

Is the Subaru BRZ a safe sports car like the Toyota GR86?

The Subaru BRZ takes driving fun back to the basics and does so without sacrificing safety. According to the IIHS, the 2022 Subaru BRZ is one of the only new two-door sports cars to receive a Top Safety Pick+ award. The IIHS awards the Top Safety Pick+ only to vehicles with top safety scores. Specifically, the BRZ got “good” ratings in nearly every category, including front and side-impact tests. 

While “good” might not seem like top accolades, it is the maximum score that the IIHS gives in its categories. The only blemish on the BRZ’s safety rating was a possible torso injury indication in crash testing. 

Does the Toyota GR86 belong on the list of safest sports cars?

You might notice that the GR86 looks a lot like the Subaru BRZ. The reasoning behind that similarity is that the sports cars are siblings and are essentially the same vehicle. According to MotorTrend, the sports cars share motors, transmissions, and a lot of the same design language. However, the most significant difference for the 2022 model year is the suspension, with the Toyota getting a stiffer, sharper ride. 

Still, both cars managed to snag the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ rating. That means whether you want a Toyota badge or a Subaru badge on your little sports car, you’ll be buying one of the safest sports cars on the market. 

The Toyota GR86, like the Subaru BRZ, is one of the safest sports cars on the market.
Toyota GR86 | Toyota

Is the Hyundai Veloster N one of the safest used sports cars?

Were it not for a couple of issues with the 2020 Hyundai Veloster N’s headlights, there’s a good chance it would have secured a Top Safety Pick+. Instead, the Veloster N gets a Top Safety Pick, which still reflects good scores in every other category. Still, if you want a newer sports car with safety credentials, you might need to buy a Toyota GR86 or Subaru BRZ.

Scroll down to the following article to read more about safe cars!


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