Since the crossovers and SUVs have become the most popular vehicles on most meridians around the globe, the brands are trying to refine their design in all aspects and they have evolved into the do-it-all machines. The rapid popularity growth of these types of vehicles lies in their high functionality and versatility but available in various styles and equipment levels they deliver also high-performance and comfortable ride and can be equipped with premium comfort and tech features. However, among all priorities automakers are trying to archive the safety is surely the top one.
Modern crossovers and SUVs come equipped with various safety tech and active safety systems have become a common part of the equipment list. But in order to get high safety ranking vehicles must perform well in various crash tests and must have well-designed headlights. Earning top safety pick+ status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) demands good scores in tests performed for the front, roof, side and head restrains while advanced or superior ratings must be achieved for front crash prevention. Yet another good rating is needed for headlights. To get the top safety pick status demands similar requirements except vehicles can get an acceptable rating in some tests.
Based on the top safety scores earned from the IIHS in previous model years and expected changes for the next model year we list some models that should be the top safety picks for 2021. Our list of 10 top safety pick SUVs for 2021 is just for the reference purpose while the relevant list is one that Insurance Institute for Highway Safety will release.
2021 Toyota RAV4
The best-selling small SUV Toyota RAV4 was redesigned for the 2019 model year and it earned the top safety pick rating+ from the IIHS. The model performed well on the crash tests while earned a “Superior” rating for front crash prevention system. The headlights scored “good” on the test.
The next 2021 Toyota RAV4 will come with the new plug-in hybrid option available and will remain among the safest models in the class. The upcoming RAV4 will equip systems such as adaptive cruise control, active lane control, automatic emergency braking, and automatic high beams by default. Blind-spot monitoring should be a standard feature above the base trim.
The new 2021 Toyota RAV4 with the Prime PHEV version will be available later in the year with a base price of about $26, 000.
2021 Volvo XC40
Volvo is well-known for building some of the most sophisticated models in the industry but this brand has also a reputation for making some the safest vehicles. That’s why the next 2021 Volvo XC40 is another small SUV on our list of the 10 top safety pick SUVs for 2021.
Similarly, like the Toyota RAV4, the XC40 was all-new for the 2019 model year and earned top safety pick+ rating from the IIHS. The model was rated “good” for the headlights as well.
The 2021 Volvo XC40 introduces the pure-electric Recharge version with the expected driving range up to 240 miles.
The next XC40 will also come equipped with active safety systems by default including automatic emergency braking, forward collision warnings and active lane control. As an optional upgrade there will be adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, surround vision cameras, blind-spot monitoring, etc.
The new-version 2021 Volvo XC40 and the pure-electric Recharge model will go on sale in late 2020. The base XC40 should be available from about $33, 700.
2021 Subaru Forester
Yet another small SUV on our list of 10 top safety pick SUVs for 2021 is the off-road-ready Subaru Forester. This model was the owner of the top safety pick rating before the introduction of the fifth-generation version for the 2019 model year. The newest Subaru Forester earned the top safety pick+ rating in the IIHS’s tests. The model achieved “good” scores on all crash tests while the headlights scored “good” on Limited and Touring versions. Other variants come with “Acceptable” headlights according to IIHS.
In its third model year after the redesign, the 2021 Subaru Forster is expected with minimal changes. The model comes with the full package of driver assist systems as standard.
The brand’s EyeSight package of active safety systems includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control. The Forester’s automatic emergency braking was rated “Superior” in IIHS’s tests.
The 2021 Subaru Forester should stay close to the current base price of $25, 000 with the release date this fall.
2021 Audi Q3
The next small SUV on our list of 10 top safety pick SUVs for 2021 is the Audi Q3 which is also the top safety pick+ rated model by the IIHS for its second-generation version inducted for the 2019 season.
The Audi Q3 scored perfect ratings on the crash tests with a “Good” rating for the optional headlights. The next Q3 will come with no major modifications and well-equipped from the base version. Audi should bring the Q3-size, all-electric model for the 2021 season.
Every 2021 Audi Q3 will come with a forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Available will be lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, surround vision system, and active lane control.
The next 2021 Audi Q3 should hit the market in late 2020 with the base price of around $35, 000.
2021 Mazda CX-5
The Mazda CX-5 is the oldest design among so far mentioned small SUV but the owner of the top safety pick+ rating as well. That won’t change with the arrival of the next 2021 Mazda CX-5.
The current, second-generation Mazda CX-5 passed the crash tests with perfect scores while earning a “Good” rating for the headlights in most configurations.
The current 2020 version made active safety systems standard and that will be the case with the next CX-5 as well. The model comes with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, etc. The safety equipment list can be upgraded with a surround-view system, parking sensors, etc.
The next 2021 Mazda CX-5 should arrive this fall with the starting price around $25, 000.
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe
We continue our list of 10 top safety picks for 2021 with the mid-size SUVs and the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe should be on one’s consideration list when the safety is in the focus.
Following the redesign for the 2019 model year, the next Santa Fe will come with no major changes. There will be some revision in features availability and more standard safety tech could be on the list.
The model will come with automatic emergency braking in every version while at disposal will also be blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert, etc.
The fourth-generation Santa FE got the top safety pick+ award from the IIHS as well as five stars from the federal government.
The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe should start at about $26, 000 with the on-sale date in the last quarter of the year.
2021 Subaru Ascent
The mid-size Ascent is another Subaru awarded with the top safety pick+ rating from the IIHS. The model earned perfect scores at the crash tests while ratings are mixed for the headlights performance. The Ascent is also the owner of five stars rating from the NHTSA.
The next 2021 Subaru Ascent will again leave the factory loaded with active safety tech in every version. The brand’s EyeSight package equips active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. More active safety systems will be available for extra money including blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, front and surround-view cameras.
The 2021 Subaru Ascent comes with no major modifications and the price should stay close to the current range. The most affordable Subaru Ascent should cost around $32, 000. The arrival is expected in late 2020.
2021 BMW X5
The mid-sized and luxury BMW X5 made also on our list of 10 top safety pick SUVs for 2021.
The next model year brings two new versions of the model to the US. The 2021 BMW X5 gets a high-performance M-branded model with 600+ hp under the hood and a more efficient plug-in hybrid version.
The fourth-generation X5 got the top safety pick+ medal when equipped with adaptive headlights and thanks to the “Good” score at all crash tests. The model performed “Superior” in automatic emergency braking testing.
The BMW X5 can be equipped with surround-vision cameras, automatic parking system in the upper grades.
The 2021 BMW X5 will demand almost $60, 000 for its base version when it reaches dealers later in the year.
2021 Hyundai Palisade
Hyundai’s recently all-new, mid-size Palisade is also awarded the top safety pick+ medal at the IIHS testing. All six crash tests Palisade graduated with “Good” marks while its automatic emergency braking performed “Superior”. When the headlights are in focus, the standard halogen units got just a “marginal” rating at testing while optional LED projector lights are up to the top score.
The 2021 Hyundai Palisade won’t introduce any notable upgrade but every version will be equipped with an array of active safety equipment. Active lane control, automatic emergency braking and rear parking sensors will be the part of every Palisade. The model gets more active safety components in the upper grades such as blind-spot monitoring, front parking sensors, surround-vision cameras tec.
The fresh-on-the-roads Hyundai Palisade will switch to the new version in late 2020. The base 2021 Palisade will demand around $32, 000.
2021 Audi e-Tron
The large, all-electric Audi e-tron SUV has a perfect safety record. The model achieved the highest possible ratings at both IIHS and federal tests.
The Audi e-Tron debuted for the 2019 model year with the pure-battery propulsion and range of 204 miles. The model comes with a 95-kWh battery pack and two electric motors delivering 355 hp. The new model year brings a performance-oriented version with a possible 3-motor setup and power around 500 hp.
At the safety equipment level, the e-Tron will be equipped with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and active lane control by default. The model will add adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and more at extra cost.
The next version of the all-electric Audi e-Torn should appear but the year-end. The price range should start at about $75, 000.
The fast-evolving safety technologies will continue to proliferate in the upcoming vehicles with more systems available as standard equipment. The next model will also bring several all-new models that earned the top safety pick+ status in the current generation like the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sorrento, etc. Hyundai has also the small Kona model with the top safety rating and Lexus UX and NX are also the top safety pick+ models. The large Ford Expedition is also a top safety pick and the recently all-new GM’s full-size SUVs should perform well on the safety tests.