Car safety is an important factor to consider when choosing any vehicle, including an SUV. Although it’s a crowded segment, many new models boast exceptional crash-test scores and provide plenty of advanced safety features. If you’re shopping around, here are 10 of the safest midsize SUVs and crossovers that Autoweek recommends.

1. 2022 Volkswagen ID.4

car safety, small, midsize and large suv models

2022 Volkswagen ID.4 | Volkswagen

Although smaller than the other midsize SUVs on this list, the electric Volkswagen ID.4 provides almost every advanced safety feature as standard equipment. It provides the essentials, such as forward-collision warning and lane-centering technology, plus some welcome extras like traffic sign recognition. 

Autoweek reports the ID.4 earned high ratings on nearly all of its Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests. It also got a seal of approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Driver pelvic protection and headlight brightness are the only areas that need improvement.

2. 2022 Mazda CX-9

The 2022 Mazda CX-9 didn’t disappoint the IIHS in a single category. Standard all-wheel drive makes it a good value and brings peace of mind to drivers who do a lot of winter driving. The cargo area might be a bit undersized compared to rivals, but the CX-9 compensates with more second-row space.

3. 2022 Lincoln Aviator

Lincoln Aviator to start at $52,195; plug-in hybrid model priced from $69,895

— Automotive News (@Automotive_News) January 22, 2019

The 2022 Lincoln Aviator is another safe bet, even though its headlights are reportedly below-average in brightness. Because Lincoln is Ford’s luxury brand, this midsize SUV benefits from standard MyKey. This feature lets you set speed and volume controls for other drivers — practically essential if your teen is behind the wheel.

4. 2022 Ford Explorer

Forged Green Metallic never looked so good. Start planning your next outdoor adventure with the #FordExplorer Timberline today.

— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) May 5, 2021

The Ford Explorer is the bargain version of the Lincoln Aviator, available at a lower price with the same excellent crash test scores. It also shares many of the Aviator’s safety features and even boasts exclusives such as evasive steering assist.

Notably, the 2022 Ford Explorer is over 1,000 pounds lighter than the Aviator. That means you’ll likely benefit from shorter braking distances because it has less weight to throw around.

5. 2022 Toyota Highlander

The 2022 Toyota Highlander’s headlights could be better, but it’s generally safe in crash prevention from any angle. However, the IIHS would have liked to see more protection for the driver’s pelvic region.

6. 2022 Volkswagen Atlas

Like the Toyota Highlander, the VW Atlas’ subpar driver pelvic protection detracts from the rest of its score. The IIHS also cautions that this SUV’s seatbelt reminder doesn’t work well. Fortunately, the rest of this midsize SUV’s safety scores are high.

7. 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is the two-row version of the Atlas, so it has identical crash test ratings and safety features. Though it seats fewer people, its shorter length makes it slightly easier to park and maneuver.

8. 2022 Subaru Ascent

2023 Subaru Ascent gets a fresh look and new trim level

— Autoblog (@therealautoblog) June 14, 2022

The Ascent SUV received excellent ratings from the NHTSA and IIHS in every category, including headlights. This Subie comes standard with adaptive LED bulbs that turn in the direction of your steering wheel. And LED fog lights are standard on the Limited and Touring trims.

9. 2022 Nissan Pathfinder

The redesigned 2022 Nissan Pathfinder provides a potent V6, a comfortable ride, and numerous safety features. Its performance pleased the IIHS in most crash tests. The Nissan Pathfinder is especially adept at front crash prevention. However, the IIHS says this SUV doesn’t have the best headlights or the most protection at the rear.

10. 2022 Infiniti QX60

We're saying the 2022 Infiniti QX60 is a huge step forward for Infiniti. Let's take a closer look at how the design has evolved:

— Edmunds (@edmunds) October 28, 2021

The 2022 Infiniti QX60 matches the Nissan Pathfinder in safety scores and powertrain specs. However, the QX60 has a larger, higher-quality interior. This luxury midsize SUV also boasts more advanced driver assists, though you get more standard features in the Pathfinder.


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