I have a 6-year-old Scion xB that I bought used. Boy, do I love that car! I get a big smile on my face every time I drive it. But my wife has been on me for some time now asking me to sell the vehicle because she’s concerned about the safety of our kids when they’re in it.
I have the original version of the xB and it just doesn’t sound solid when you open and close the door. In fact, a soft drink can sounds more solid than those doors! My wife is particularly worried about our kids being in a T-bone crash because my old xB doesn’t have side curtain air bags. (It does have the driver and passenger side air bags, but virtually nothing else in terms of safety.)
Since that Scion was built, vehicle safety has changed so much. Case in point: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) finds that 66 vehicles made its list of top safety picks for 2011. The IIHS examined vehicles based on how well they protected passengers in front, side, rollover and rear crashes, among other factors.
In terms of brands, Hyundai/Kia and VW/Audi each had 9 vehicles on the list ranked among the very safest. (See the full list at the link above.) The funny thing is the current version of the Scion xB does make this list. But my wife’s right, my old xB probably has to go!
If you’re in the market for a new car, remember safety’s not everything…until you’re in an accident. So maybe you want to get the safe choice if you’re between 2 vehicles and one is on the list while the other is not.