When purchasing a new vehicle in Ontario, there are several factors to consider: reliability, auto insurance rates, and even if you like the car. Then there’s safety, which should be high up on your list of “must-haves”. What are the safest vehicles currently available in Ontario, and how do they rank on the list of most affordable cars to insure?
Maybe that’s the trickiest part of buying a new car: combining its safety record with favourable car insurance premiums. It’s not easy, which is why the information below will help you make an informed choice.
Let’s begin with vehicle safety, and more specifically, the safest cars you can buy in Ontario. Fortunately, you’ll have a lot of choices because there are many vehicles with stellar safety ratings.
Each year, the U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) publishes a list of vehicles that are best at keeping you protected during a collision. Vehicles that make the list are designated with the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.
For its ranking, the IIHS lists vehicles across classes, such as a small car, large luxury, and SUV. Deciding a vehicle’s safety qualities is based on two factors: crash avoidance/mitigation and crashworthiness. When testing vehicles, the IIHS wants to know how well the car will protect occupants during a collision, but also what the vehicle does to mitigate crashes. For example, what safety technology is on board.
Each year, the IIHS takes its findings and compiles a list of the safest vehicles, awarding them the Top Safety Pick+ rating. In 2020, the following models have received the Top Safety Pick+ award:
|Small Car||Midsize Car||Midsize Luxury||Large Luxury|
|Honda Insight||Mazda 6||Lexus E3 350||Audi A6|
|Mazda3 hatchback||Nissan Maxima||Mercedes-Benz C-Class||Genesis G70|
|Mazda3 sedan||Subaru Legacy||Tesla Model 3||Genesis G80|
|Subaru Crosstrek||Subaru Outback||Genesis G90|
SUVs are one of the most popular vehicle choices for consumers, and according to the IIHS, several SUV models deserve the Top Safety Pick+ rating:
|Small SUVs||Midsize SUVs||Midsize Luxury|
|Mazda CX-3||Mazda CX-9||Acura RDX|
|Mazda CX-5||Cadillac XT6|
|Subaru Forester||Lexus NX|
The Most Affordable Vehicles to Insure in Ontario
Buying a safe car is only part of the puzzle. Many drivers also want to save on their auto insurance premium by purchasing a car that has affordable rates. From the IIHS list of Top Safety Pick+ award recipients, which are the cheapest to insure?
To make better sense of this U.S. study and how it relates to motorists in Ontario, InsuranceHotline.com took the 24 safest cars and compiled a list of the 10 most affordable to insure. The following Top Safety Pick+ vehicles protect both you and your wallet:
- Subaru Forester
- Subaru Crosstrek
- Subaru Outback
- Tesla Model 3
- Mazda CX-3
- Mazda CX-5
- Subaru Legacy
- Honda Insight
- Acura RDX
- Mazda CX-9
It is worth noting that insurance companies use several factors to determine the rate you pay for car insurance. The vehicle is just one of those factors, along with your driving record, where you live, and your insurance claims history. In other words, buying one of the safe vehicles listed above won’t guarantee you a low rate, but if you value safety and want the most affordable premium, the cars above check both boxes.
It’s Not Good News for Luxury Vehicle Owners
Looking across both the safest vehicles you can buy affordable insurance for and the cars with the cheapest auto insurance in Ontario; there is a notable absentee. There are no luxury vehicles present on either list. It appears driving an expensive car means you may have to accept higher insurance costs.
Costly car insurance tends to be synonymous with the luxury car market. Owning an expensive car checks off almost every box that leads to a high premium:
- Expensive to replace: If a luxury vehicle is stolen or destroyed, it will cost the insurance company more to replace it because the vehicle value is much higher than the average car.
- Costly to repair: Equally, when a luxury vehicle is damaged in a collision, repair costs can be astronomic. From sourcing parts to finding specialist shops, luxury car repairs are costly for insurers.
- Increased risk: Expensive cars may be a magnet for thieves, who can make more money from a luxury vehicle.
- Size: Insurance companies often charge higher premiums for bigger cars and vehicles with large engines.
Insurance is a risk-versus-cost industry, so if your vehicle presents more risk, your rate will always reflect that risk. Luxury vehicles fit into several risk brackets, which is why they often require higher premiums.
What Does It All Mean?
Finding the cheapest cars to insure in Ontario often involves deciding between several factors, safety among them. Of course, there’s more to your auto insurance premium than the vehicle you drive. Insurers will also look at where you live, your insurance history and driving record, and how you use the car.
Yet all things being equal, motorists in Ontario will fork out more for coverage if their car is safer. That may seem counter-intuitive but remember a safe vehicle does not mean you are less likely to crash.