Buying a car has never been easier — or more difficult — than it is now. There are so many choices out there, it’s easy to get confused or to lose sight of what you really want. It doesn’t help that every car manufacturer claims that their vehicles are the best, safest, and most reliable.
Internet research doesn’t make things a whole lot better. After going through the conflicting reviews and reports, you’re bombarded with information overload before you even make it to the car lot. So how do you cut through the hype and get down to the facts?
One thing we do know is this: As cars are getting safer and the roads become safer, insurance companies should be keeping up. But are they prioritizing safety? Since safety features help reduce the chances of accidents, drivers with safer cars should be rewarded with discounts, right?
We’ve compiled our own comparison, independent of influence from car makers, that compares the safety features of Subarus and Toyotas, to help you decide on what are the safest cars for your family. And, here’s the best part, no matter what car you choose, either will help keep your premiums low when you insure with Elephant.
Top safety features in cars
Let’s first define what makes a car safe. In the automotive industry, car safety ratings are a top concern and one of the main selling points of any vehicle. Many car manufacturers are including key safety features as standard options in the vehicles they produce. These features go beyond seat belts and anti-lock brakes. There are systems that can help the driver avoid a crash, cameras mounted on the rear of the car to make backing up safer, and features that warn the driver when a vehicle is in their blind spot. Some of the more popular safe features in cars include:
- Forward collision warning (FCW)
- Lane centering assist
- Rear cross-traffic warning
- Automatic emergency braking (AEB)
- Lane departure warning (LDW)
- Adaptive cruise control
- Blind spot warning (BSW)
- Rear automatic emergency braking (Rear AEB)
- Lane keeping assist (LKA)
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ranks cars based on safety features and assigns the safest cars with one of two endorsements:
- Top Safety Pick
- Top Safety Pick+
To qualify for the 2018 Top Safety Pick, the car’s rating must be good in moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraint tests, and driver-side small overlap front. The rating must be superior or advanced in front crash prevention. Headlight rating must be acceptable or good.
For a rating of Top Safety Pick+ the car must meet all the qualifications of the 2018 Top Safety Pick, plus earn an acceptable or good rating in the passenger side small overlap front test, a good headlight rating, and an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.
Subaru has added EyeSight ® to several of their 2018 models. It is a safety features package that includes several driver assist technologies. It is said to give the driver an “extra set of eyes” while behind the wheel and make their cars safer. EyeSight ® is now standard on several Subaru models.
There are four features included in Subaru EyeSight®:
- Pre-collision braking
- Pre-collision throttle management
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane departure and sway warning with lane keep assist
According to IIHS standards, Subaru has several Top Safety Pick models:
- Subaru Crosstrek
- Subaru Forester – with EyeSight®
Even more impressively, Subaru has even more IIHS Top Safety Pick+ endorsements. All of these models come equipped with EyeSight ® technology.
- Subaru Impreza
- Subaru Legacy
- Subaru Outback
- Subaru WRX
Toyota Safety Sense (TSS)
Similar to EyeSight®, Toyota Safety Sense™ (TSS) is a package of high-tech safety features that come standard on many of the newer Toyotas, including a number of 2018 models. They are designed to make their cars safer and avoid accidents. The system includes:
- Pre-collision system
- Lane departure alert
- Automatic high beams
- Dynamic radar cruise control
- Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection
In addition to TSS, Toyota also has the Star Safety System which includes:
- Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
- Traction Control (TRAC)
- 4-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
- Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
- Brake Assist (BA)
- Smart Stop Technology (SST)
According to IIHS standards, Toyota has several Top Safety Pick models, all of which include TSS.
- IIHS’s “Top Safety Pick” endorsement.
- Toyota Corolla
- Toyota Prius
- Toyota Prius Prime
- Toyota Avalon
- Toyota RAV4
- Toyota Highlander
Toyota has one model that meets the criteria for IIHS Top Safety Pick+
- Toyota Camry
Your budget and your lifestyle needs will determine what type of Subaru or Toyota you’ll want to purchase. What’s important is that both manufacturers are taking safety seriously and have put driver and passenger safety as their main priority.
As more cars become safer and more affordable to own, your car insurance company should be keeping up, too. Whether you choose a Toyota or a Subaru, remember that if your car has advanced safety features, you could be rewarded with discounts when you insure with Elephant. These safety features are saving lives, so Elephant makes sure you are rewarded for choosing safety.