Thankfully, modern engineering and manufacturing techniques have ensured that modern cars are also by far the safest on the road these days, and come with a heap of features to keep your family safe.
Let’s take a look at the top 15 safest family cars to help you pick the safest car for you and your family to commute and take long holiday road trips in.
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How to Find the Safest Family Cars for Kids?
For the most accurate list possible, we’ve used data directly from ANCAP, which is Australia’s independent vehicle safety authority responsible for testing, measuring and accurately mapping the safety credentials of new cars here in Australia.
We’ll also be taking into account when each vehicle was tested, because ANCAP has updated its testing protocols in recent years.
Officially, ANCAP says that the safest family cars for kids are measured by their ‘child occupant protection' rating. This evaluates the level of protection specifically for child occupants in the rear seats, and the car’s ability to accommodate a range of child restraints that adds flexibility for parents.
Taking out the honour of Australia’s safest vehicle when it comes to child occupant safety, the best marker of a vehicle’s safety specifically for kids is the Mitsubishi Outlander.
When it was tested in 2022, under the updated raft of testing protocols, ANCAP awarded the Outlander and its plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant with a 92% child occupant protection score.
The Outlander lineup is available in both five and seven-seat configurations making it supremely family-friendly, with prices kicking off from $34,990.
Mercedes-Benz occupies a number of spots in the list of safest family cars for kids, according to ANCAP.
Its large SUV, the Mercedes-Benz GLE was awarded a child occupant protection score of 92% when it was tested back in 2019, making it an extremely safe option for large families looking for a comfortable, premium and super spacious commuter.
The GLE lineup kicks off from $151,031 for the entry-level 450.
For those looking for all the premium features and luxurious driving dynamics of a Mercedes in a compact SUV platform, the Mercedes-Benz GLA is a great option for buyers with exceptional safety credentials for kids.
In 2019, the GLA received a 92% score from ANCAP for child protection thanks to its build-quality and clever safety technologies, making it extremely well-equipped in this area.
The Mercedes-Benz GLA is priced from $57,800 for the entry-level GLA200.
Subaru’s iconic Outback wagon is also a strong-performer when it comes to safety for kids thanks to its 91% ANCAP child occupant safety rating.
Not only do you benefit from a spacious cabin with a heap of boot space and the added off-road confidence of Subaru’s all-wheel drive system, you can rest assured that Subaru’s strong safety rating will keep your kids safe.
The Outback range kicks off from $41,490 for the entry-level Outback AWD.
If you’re looking for one of the smoothest driving experiences on the market for a reasonable price, the Mazda 6 sedan is an incredibly strong performer that offers a safe environment for your kids.
The Mazda 6 gained a five-star ANCAP safety rating with a 91% score for child occupant protection back in its 2018 testing.
The Mazda 6 line-up kicks off from $34,890 for the entry-level 6 Sport.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is an icon in the world of midsize sedans, and has recently received an update with even more safety technology as standard.
During its 2022 test under ANCAP’s strict testing protocols, the C-Class scored an impressive 90% for child occupant protection, and comes packaged with a generous amount of clever safety tech as standard.
The latest C-Class range kicks off from $78,900 for the entry-level C200.
One of the leading Japanese options in the world of premium compact SUVs comes in the form of Lexus NX, which also offers buyers a heap of active safety tech with a strong ANCAP rating.
During its 2022 tests under the strict protocols, the Lexus NX scored 89% for child occupant protection, providing buyers within the small SUV segment a premium and safe option.
Priced from $60,800 for the entry-level NX two-wheel drive, the Lexus NX is also a cost-effective alternative to the European establishment.
The Volkswagen Multivan is one of the most versatile vehicles on the market for growing families, offering the benefits of a minibus with some of the industry’s leading safety specs.
Under the latest testing protocols, ANCAP awarded the Volkswagen Mutlivan a five-star safety rating alongside an 89% score for child occupant protection, making it a spacious and safe option for your family.
The VW Multivan line-up kicks off from $63,900 for the entry-level TDI340 short-wheelbase.
The Genesis GV70 is a great option for buyers looking for a large, spacious and luxurious SUV while undercutting its major European rivals by tens of thousands of dollars.
Better still, Genesis’ outstanding value proposition is only sweetened by its strong 89% child occupant score from an ANCAP test in 2021, making it a great option for buyers looking for a safe and premium family car for their kids.
The GV70 line-up kicks off from $66,400 for the entry-level GV70 2.5T.
While you might not expect it, the tough-as-bricks build quality of a ute also lends itself perfectly to keeping you and your family safe in the event of an accident.
This becomes clear when you take a look at the GV70’s strong 89% child occupant safety score from ANCAP’s 2020 testing, making it a versatile vehicle for work trips during the week, and safe road trips or family duties on the weekend.
As a refresher, the entry-level Isuzu D-Max SX Single Cab 1.9 variant is priced from $32,200.
On a similar note, Mazda’s workhorse, the BT-50 has also received a strong ANCAP rating when it comes to safety for your kids.
During its 2020 testing, ANCAP awarded the BT-50 with an 89% child occupant protection rating, making it one of the leaders for child safety technologies for the ute segment.
Better still, Mazda has recently introduced a new entry-level variant for budget-conscious buyers, with prices for the line-up now starting at $33,850.
Toyota’s iconic family car, the RAV4 is also extremely well-credentialed when it comes to family safety.
During its 2019 test, ANCAP awarded the latest generation RAV4 platform with an 89% score for child occupant protection, while the spacious and practical cabin makes for extremely family-friendly trips around town and long holiday road trips.
The RAV4 line-up is priced from $34,000 for the entry-level GX variant, with the option of hybrid engines now available across all trim levels.
While the Ford Escape is often out-shined by the best-sellers in the segment, it remains an exceptionally well-crafted, smooth and safe midsize SUV for your family, with a heap of power from its perky engine.
The Escape nabbed an 89% safety rating for child occupant protection when it was tested in 2019, alongside its five-star safety rating.
The Escape lineup kicks off from $36,490 for the base front-wheel drive variant.
The Evoque’s sleek and stylish design package has been matched by a strong safety rating from ANCAP, making it a great option for those looking for a premium compact SUV that can keep your family safe.
During its 2019 test, the Evoque scored an impressive 89% for child occupant protection, making it one of the leaders of the compact SUV segment in terms of child safety.
As a refresher, the Evoque line-up kicks off from $67,200 for the entry-level Evoque P200 R-Dynamic.
While it might not be the biggest car on our list, the Mazda 3’s clever interior packaging means that the platform is surprisingly adept at accommodating a growing family.
To make things even sweeter, the Mazda 3 has also been awarded a score of 89% for child protection, making it not only a cost-effective, stylish and fuel-efficient hatch or sedan, it’s also one of the safest on the road, too.
The Mazda 3 line-up is priced from $26,340 for the entry-level G20 Pure in both sedan and hatchback designs.
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