Safety first… unless you’re in one of these cars

Whether it’s your fault, the other guy’s fault, or just some weird unforeseeable circumstance where the blame can’t be placed, accidents happen. And when they do, you want to make sure you’re in the safest car possible, because not every model is created equal when it comes to crashworthiness. And, with that in mind, we’ve put together some of the worst offenders right here in this list.

Granted, safety standards have come a long way in the last few decades, especially with the advent of autonomous technology and driver’s assist systems. But sometimes, even blind spot monitoring and automatic braking can’t prevent metal-on-metal collisions.

The bulk of the criteria for what made it on this list comes from the Insurance Institute for High Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Both groups conduct crash tests and rate new cars on their safety in a variety of categories, with the IIHS using a four-rating system (“Good,” “Acceptable,” “Marginal,” or “Poor”) and the NHTSA using a five-star rating system (five stars is the best, one star is the worst).

Do you own one of the cars listed? Let us know in the comments!

Continue reading to learn more about the worst deathtraps of 2016 and 2017.

Worst Deathtraps Of 2016 And 2017

Mitsubishi Mirage

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage
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While certainly improved compared to last year’s model, the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage is still no beacon of safety. Last time around, the five-door Mirage city car received the lowest possible “Poor” rating from the IIHS in the small overlap front crash test (check it out here). For 2017, Mitsubishi managed to improve the Mirage in that particular test, but not by much – the hatchback still only manages a “Marginal” rating in the small overlap front test (check it out here). Meanwhile, the four-door Mirage sedan also received a “Marginal” rating in small overlap front crashes, while side impacts were a lackluster “Acceptable” (check it out here).

As for the NHTSA, only the five-door hatch was tested, with ratings of four stars across the board.

Add in the basic, unavoidable physical drawbacks of a crash in a small, lightweight car (less mass equals more hurt), and the Mirage is clearly not the number one pick if safety is your top priority.

Read the full review here.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV High Resolution Exterior
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Unfortunately for Mitsubishi, the tri-diamond emblem occupies a second entry on this list with the i-MiEV. Although reasonably inexpensive for an all-electric city slicker, the 2017 model year hatchback also carries the cost of poor crashworthiness, as the NHTSA awards the overblown golf kart with just four stars in rollover and frontal crashes, and an eye-raising three stars in side impacts. The overall rating comes in at four stars. Previous model years have the same rating, which makes it look as though Mitsubishi is in no rush to improve the i-MiEV’s safety.

The IIHS has not yet published a rating for any model year of the i-MiEV.

Read the full review here.

Jeep Wrangler

2014 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon X - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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When it comes to conquering any and all rough terrain, the Jeep Wrangler is a legend, which makes total sense when you trace its roots back to the military service it saw in World War II. But the thing is, Jeep never really got around to changing the design all that much, which means downright abysmal safety ratings by modern standards.

The NHTSA gives the Wrangler three stars in rollover tests, while frontal impacts, side impacts, and overall ratings remain missing. Meanwhile, the IIHS gives the wrangler a “Good” rating in the moderate overlap front test, but a “Marginal” rating in small overlap front impacts, a “Marginal” rating for the head restrains and seats, and a “Poor” rating for side impacts and headlight safety (check it out here). The four-door model is slightly better, getting a “Good” rating in the small and moderate overlap tests, but side impacts are still “Marginal” (check it out here).

Update 12/30/2016: FCA US LLC has reached out to us and has stated that the Jeep Wrangler is above the safety standards required for regulatory compliance.

Read the full review here.

Kia Rio

2017 Kia Rio
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The Kia Rio is notoriously unsafe, amassing a death rate of 149 deaths for every million registered vehicles, the highest of all cars studied in a report issued by the IIHS last year (check it out here). While Kia has improved the Rio massively in the last decade or so, it’s still not all that safe, with the IIHS ranking it with a “Marginal” rating in the small overlap front test and an “Acceptable” rating in side impacts (check it out here).

Meanwhile, the NHTSA gives the 2017 Kia Rio four stars in frontal crashes, rollovers, and the overall rating, but five stars in side impacts.

Read the full review here.

Nissan Versa Note

2017 Nissan Versa Note
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The Versa Note is another car that scored abysmally in the aforementioned IIHS study on vehicular deaths per number of registered vehicles, and the new 2017 model isn’t looking like it has improved dramatically, especially when talking about the five-door hatchback body style. The IIHS has yet to rate the 2017 model, but the NHTSA gives it four stars in rollover tests, three stars in frontal crashes, and no rating in side impacts and overall.

Read the full review here.

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