What is the Safest Midsize SUV?

 In Auto Professor's Safest, Midsize SUV, Vehicle Safety

What is the safest midsize SUV? It all depends on who you are; not all drivers are protected equally in the same car. Some midsize SUVs protect you better than others; we know this based on actual crash data. We believe that real data are preferable to standardized tests with dummies. You are not a dummy.

How We Define Midsize SUVs

Somewhere in between a compact and a full-size sport utility vehicle, the midsize SUV is the most popular SUV on the market now. It offers more passenger and cargo space than a compact, without the behemoth hulk of a full-size SUV.

Did you know that a midsize SUV is built on a pickup frame? This benefits the driver with a higher view of the road and substantially more cargo space. Technically, the midsize is defined by its weight, between about 3751 and 4750 lbs.

Originally introduced in 1980, these vehicles were initially considered to have high rollover risk and instability. Since then, driver assist technology, also called electronic stability control, has been required on all passenger vehicles under 10,000 lbs. As a result, midsize SUVs have become a relatively safer and definitely popular choice. But how safe are they? And what is the safest midsize SUV for you?

How We Define Car Safety

How safe a midsize SUV is depends on how you are looking at safety. Unlike other rating systems, The Auto Professor gives car rankings based on actual, real-life crash data, not standardized tests with dummies. We look at belted drivers in the worst crashes, who walked away and who didn’t.

As you can read in an Overview of Auto Grades—where you will learn more about Auto Grades, why we need them and how they are different from other star rating systems—all vehicles get an Overall Auto Grade safety rating. If the vehicle is very popular and there are lots and lots of these vehicles on the road, then we are likely to have lots and lots of data. When this happens, we can then personalize the car’s Auto Grade for drivers by age and gender. In these cases, you get a safety rating based on who you—and your loved ones—really are. Not a theoretical person. Real people. Real information.

Safest Midsize SUVs in 2018, 2019 and 2020

While we are big advocates of things like forward collision warning systems and lane departure systems, we understand that buying an affordable, safe car is often the most important thing. Good news! As our list shows, there are many safe and affordable midsize SUVs to choose from.

Introducing Our Honor Roll of Car Safety Ratings:

If all the age-gender categories of a vehicle get an A or A-, then they get to be in the Honor Roll. Top Tier vehicles that are not as popular, unfortunately, cannot be classified as Honor Roll, even though they get an A or A-. Since there are often good deals to be found on popular vehicles, the Honor Roll is the best of the best—good price and great safety—based on actual data.

Vehicle 2018 2019 2020
Acura MDX
Audi Q5
BMW X4 Honor Roll Honor Roll Honor Roll
Buick Enclave
Chevrolet Traverse
Dodge Durango Honor Roll Honor Roll Honor Roll
Ford Edge
Ford Explorer Honor Roll Honor Roll Honor Roll
Ford Flex
GMC Arcadia
Honda Pilot Honor Roll Honor Roll Honor Roll
Hyundai Santa Fe
Infiniti QX60
Jeep Grand Cherokee Honor Roll Honor Roll Honor Roll
Jeep Wrangler
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Kia Sorento
Lexus GX
Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-9
Mercedes GLE Class Honor Roll Honor Roll
Nissan Pathfinder Honor Roll Honor Roll Honor Roll
Porsche Cayenne
Subaru Outback
Toyota 4Runner Honor Roll Honor Roll Honor Roll
Toyota Highlander Honor Roll Honor Roll
Volkswagen Tiguan
Volvo XC60


What is a midsize SUV?

Typically a midsize SUV is a vehicles built on a light truck frame and is defined by weight and comes in somewhere between 3751 and 4750 lbs.

What is bigger, midsize or standard SUV?

This popular class of midsized-SUV is somewhere between a compact and a full-size sport utility vehicle. So that puts it a bit smaller than the SUVs originally on the market.

What is the best midsize SUV crash rating possible?

With The Auto Professor, an A or A- is a top rating. There are also safety ratings by the age and gender of the driver. If a vehicle gets this rating for all ages and genders, then they are on the Honor Roll – the best of the best!

How do you compare midsize SUV safety ratings?

Our Auto Grades make it really easy to compare SUV safety ratings. It’s like the grades you got back in school: Go for the A! If you’d like to know more about our safety ratings, check out this page.

What is the safest midsize SUV of 2019?

Our Auto Grades are the only safety rating based on real crashes. Get your estimated safety ratings for these newer cars by going to Safety Ratings.

Personalize It!

As you see, there are many midsize SUVs with good safety ratings. But why stop there? Check out your favorite models for yourself, or maybe for someone you care about. Is that model the best option for you? It depends on your age and gender, and you can find your Auto Grade here:

Additional Car Safety Considerations

Besides safety, there is a lot to consider when buying a car. Choosing a used midsize SUV is likely to save some money—sometimes as much $4,000-8,000. These savings could also be the result of fewer driver assistance technologies, such as forward collision warning systems. Plus, there are savings on insurance, which can be significant.

New or used, make sure you have the best midsize SUV for you by using the Auto Grades. Confidently choose a car that will protect you.

Working together to create a world where everyone walks away from a crash.