Buying a new car? Check the safety features

(KOMO file photo)

Today's new cars are the safest ever. That’s due, in large part, to a number of hi-tech safety features, such as lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic warnings, blind spot monitors and adaptive cruise control.

When you go shopping, you need to take the time to check which safety features are standard and which are optional, if available at all.

Jack Gillis, director of public affairs at the Consumer Federation of America and Author of The Car Book 2018, says the range of safety features varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and vehicle to vehicle.

"Some of the manufacturers are putting more and more of them in as standard features, such as back-up cameras. But other features, such as blind-spot detection, lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking, may only be optional. So be sure you check to see what's available on the vehicles you're interested in,” Gillis said.

Yes, some of these safety features will drive up the price of that vehicle, but they could save your life, Gillis said.

The Car Book’s Best Bets for 2018:


BMW 3 Series

Kia Sou

Toyota Prius


Acura TLX

Hyundai Sonata

Toyota Avalon

Toyota Camry

Audi A6

Subaru Legacy


Tesla Model S

Cadillac XTS


Honda Odyssey


Buick Encore

Chevrolet Trax

Honda CR-V

Mazda CX-3

Acura RDX

Kia Sportage

Ford Escape


Tesla Model X

Ford Edge

Toyota Highlander

Honda Pilot

Subaru Outback

Acura MDX


Volvo XC90

For the past 38 years, Jack Gillis and the Center for Auto Safety have partnered to publish The Car Book. This year, in addition to the traditional print version, The Car Book 2018 is available in-full online at

Both the print and online versions provide unique crash test ratings, comparative complaint ratings. In addition to in-depth ratings of the 2018 vehicles, the site includes over 1,000 used car ratings going back five years. also features the Decision Wizard, an easy-to-use search function based on specific aspects of the vehicle, such as size, price range, crash test results, warranty ratings and safety features.

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