back to articles | August 18, 2023 | Staci Bailey

Categories: Vehicle & Buying Research

Top Safest Luxury Cars with 5-Star Ratings

Riding in a luxury vehicle is the epitome of comfort. When you can accommodate your family and friends in one, it's even better.


Riding in a luxury vehicle is the epitome of comfort. When you can accommodate your family and friends in one, it's even better. Most people assume that luxury vehicles like the ones Annie, Daddy Warbucks, and their friends rode in the 1995 movie ‘Annie: A Royal Adventure’ (on DIRECTV STREAM) are safe.

Who wouldn't want to ride in a high-end luxury car like a Rolls Royce or a Bentley? These days, one can get auto loans with attractive interest rates too. However, are luxury vehicles genuinely safe?

The answer is a resounding maybe. That answer may confuse some luxury vehicle buyers, but the hard reality is only some luxury cars go through crash testing to determine how safe they are. That's why you'll only find a few cars with five-star safety ratings.

How are Car Models Rated?

Many manufacturers cite tests run by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States. In Europe, Euro NCAP, based in Belgium, evaluates vehicle safety. Only NHTSA and Euro NCAP issue five-star ratings, while IIHS issues Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick Plus ratings. Consumers should also refer to the latest ratings as these evaluation organizations constantly strengthen their requirements.

NHTSA ratings evaluate how each vehicle performs to protect occupants in a series of crash tests that include frontal, side, and rollover crashes. They used adult-sized and child-sized crash test dummies to determine how occupants typically fare under crash conditions. The NHTSA is the only organization that rates rollover crashes. Euro NCAP is a newer rating protocol in the auto industry. However, it only uses front crash tests, so how its ratings translate to real-world applications is unclear.

Luxury Cars with 5-Star Ratings

Acura TLX

Type: Midsize sports sedan

Safety equipment: Standard driver assistance features include collision, mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane-keeping assist, pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition, and traffic jam assist. Available optional features are a surround-view camera, blind-spot information system, and rear cross-traffic monitor.

The Acura TLX is an entry-level luxury sedan that is great for those looking for an engaging driving experience coupled with classy interiors and comfortable front seats. The 2023 model of this car comes with complimentary AcuraLink connected services.

Tesla Model Y

Type: Electric compact crossover

Safety features: Eight cameras with vision processing, automatic emergency braking, forward and blind spot collision warning, lane departure avoidance, over-the-air software safety updates, and thermal protection from fires.

Tesla claims it designs its cars to exceed standards. Both NHTSA and the Euro NCAP have awarded five stars to the Model Y (2022).

Mercedes-Benz C Class

Type: Compact luxury sedan

Safety equipment: Standard features include a rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers, automatic high beams, driver attention monitor, vehicle exit assist, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. Select from these available features: rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, assist for intersections, lane-keeping, and lane tracing, evasive steering assist, digital headlight projects, traffic sign recognition, surround-view camera, and head-up display.

The NHTSA has not yet rated the 2022 C class but has given it five-star ratings in the past. NCAP has awarded it a five-star rating for the 2022 version, while IIHS has selected it as a Top Safety Pick Plus.

Alfa Romeo Tonale

Type: Compact off-road SUV

Standard Safety equipment: eCell system to alert emergency services, multi-collision avoidance system, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, autonomous emergency braking, and pedestrian/cyclist detection.

NHTSA and Euro NCAP awarded this car five stars for the 2022 version, while the 2023 version got five stars from ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program).

Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Type: Mid-size, three-row SUV

Standard Safety equipment: Adaptive cruise control with stop and go, active lane management, full-speed forward collision warning with active pedestrian/cyclist detection, rear backup camera, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic detection. Advanced features include a surround-view camera, night vision, intersection collision assist, and drowsy driver detection.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is great for those looking for a mid-size SUV with three rows. It was awarded five stars by Euro NCAP for the 2022 edition.


While buyers will find many of the same features across all of these vehicles, note that what is standard varies among manufacturers. Select options that are most important to you. If you are worried about finance, an auto loan can.