The 10 Safest Small Cars of 2014

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(Jan 2013) Detroit, MI North American International Auto ShowSmall cars are the most efficient, most affordable, and most dangerous new vehicles on the market. Today’s drivers have impressive new technology available to help you avoid risks on the road, but it’s crucial to remember that 9 of 10 crashes are the result of driver errors. Human beings need saving from themselves.

The challenge to produce a safe automobile is even greater with small cars. Since compact and sub-compact vehicles have less mass to resist damage during crashes,  it requires advanced feats of engineering to create a tiny car that can stand up to much in a head-on accident. In its effort to help protect today’s drivers and passengers, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) made its standards stricter when the agency added a small front overlap crash test to safety reviews. Now automakers must pass the toughest test ever in order to have a car designated Top Safety Pick or, best of all, Top Safety Pick Plus.

Only a few small automobiles from the 2014 model year managed to land the coveted Top Safety Pick Plus designation, while others settled for Top Safety Pick honors. Here are the 10 cars from 2014 that scored the highest in safety rankings by the IIHS.

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1. 2014 Hyundai Elantra Sedan ($17,200)

The 4-door Elantra from Hyundai (HYMLF.PK) nailed the top score in 4 of the 5 IIHS crash tests. In the small front overlap test, the 2014 Elantra sedan scored an “average” rating, which cumulatively gave the car a Top Safety Pick designation. It also grabbed a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), separating it from most of the compact pack.

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