10 Safest SUVs on the market

George Kennedy, U.S. News & World Report

Safety is the first thing many shoppers think about when buying a new car – even more so when shopping for an SUV. In fact, part of the appeal of early SUVs was the idea that their large size would protect you better in a crash.

Not all SUVs are created equal. They come in different shapes and sizes. However, these days, many have similar advance safety features in the form of lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, automatic pre-collision braking, backup cameras, and more.

The following vehicles are the ten SUVs with the highest safety scores on U.S. News & World Report's site. Some of the SUVs in this slideshow even boast the aforementioned advanced safety features as standard equipment!

It's important to note that, although a compact and a midsize SUV might have the same safety score, that doesn't mean they will perform the same in a crash. Size matters with crashes, and larger vehicles tend to do better, all other things being equal.

It's also important to note that safety scores are updated throughout the year. Check out our review pages for each of these cars for the latest information on safety.

2017 Kia Sorento

2017 Kia Sorento

U.S. News Safety Score: 9.7 out of 10

The Sorento is tied with the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander Hybrid for No. 1 in U.S. News & World Report's rankings of best SUVs with three rows. Its potent available V6 engine and quality interior complement stable handling and its 9.7 out of 10 safety score.

MSRP: $25,400

Kia's midsize SUV also features a very intuitive infotainment system. It's called Kia UVO, and features an easy-to-use layout with large icons and fonts.

In addition to new safety features like adaptive headlights and forward collision avoidance, UVO's ease of use helps minimize distracted driving.

2017 Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 SUV is seen during the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, January 9, 2017.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

U.S. News Safety Score: 9.7 out of 10

The XC90 has been leading the charge for Volvo's reinvention in the last decade, and was the first ever crossover offered by the brand. It features the largest cargo space in the class, well-cushioned spacious seats, and a lineup of fuel-efficient turbocharged engines. But Volvo was a safety pioneer first.

MSRP: $45,750

City Safety is an optional form of collision avoidance that can detect cars, buildings, and people and automatically stop at low speeds. You can also get booster seats that are built into the rear seats and fold out from the seat cushion.

2016 BMW X3

Workers sweep the floor as a BMW X3 sport-utility vehicle, manufactured by BMW, sits on display during the second press day of the Paris Motor Show at Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016.
Marlene Awaad | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. News Safety Score: 9.7 out of 10

BMW's compact X3 luxury SUV earns five stars in crash testing for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition to the strong scores, the X3 has many standard and available safety features, including lane departure warning and forward collision warning.

MSRP: $38,950

These safety features protect a vehicle with plenty of cabin space, agile handling and powerful, yet efficient engines. The xDrive28d trim has a diesel engine that makes 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and yet returns fuel economy of 27 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway.

2016 Honda CR-V

2016 Honda CR-V
Source: Honda Motors

U.S. News Safety Score: 9.0 out of 10

The Honda CR-V is a pillar of automotive pragmatism. While it may be considered boring to drive, it has plenty of cargo space and a very roomy back seat. That pragmatism pays off with a first-place rating in U.S. News & World Report's compact SUV rankings.

MSRP: $23,845 (Details Below)

One of the contributing factors to this ranking is its strong safety scores. The CR-V features a standard backup camera and available tech, such as Honda LaneWatch, a camera system that monitors the passenger-side blind spot area.

2017 Cadillac XT5

2017 Cadillac XT5
Source: General Motors

U.S. News Safety Score: 10.0 out of 10

The XT5 is Cadillac's midsize luxury crossover SUV. In addition to high-end cabin materials and spacious rear seats, the XT5 has over a dozen available safety features, including active safety and driver assistance features.

MSRP: $38,995

The XT5 is available with adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera system, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring.

The XT5 also comes with the Safety Alert Seat, which vibrates the side of the driver's seat to indicate danger. If a car is in your driver's side blind spot and you're trying to move into that lane, it alerts you by vibrating the left side of the seat. It sounds strange but is intuitive.

2017 Audi Q7

Audi Q7
Source: Audi

U.S. News Safety Score: 10.0 out of 10

The Audi Q7 has received its first ever major redesign since it arrived in 2005. The new Q7 doesn't have the most cargo space in the segment, but it does have a potent supercharged 3.0-liter V6 making 333 horsepower, agile handling, and a luxurious interior.

MSRP: $49,000

Audi's Q7 also features Turning Assistant, which monitors the opposing lane of traffic when making a left turn at low speeds. If a vehicle is sensed, it will brake the Q7.

The Q7's Exit Warning System will alert you if a bicyclist is approaching from the rear before opening the door into its path. These help the Q7 earn a first-place spot among luxury midsize SUVs in U.S. News & World Report rankings.

2017 Fiat 500X

2017 Fiat 500X
Source: Chrysler Fiat

U.S. News Safety Score: 10.0 out of 10

The Fiat 500X brings the same plucky styling of the 500 to a larger crossover platform – but it's still technically a subcompact SUV. It has nimble handling on curvy roads and is easy to maneuver in tight spaces. It also earns a perfect 10.0 out of 10 safety score.

MSRP: $19,995

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tested the Fiat 500X, and the result was a Top Safety Pick accolade.

2016 Mini Cooper Countryman

2016 Mini Cooper S Countryman All4
Raymond Boyd | Getty Images

U.S. News Safety Score: 10.0 out of 10

Buyers will appreciate the funky styling, agile handling, and potent turbocharged engines of the Mini Cooper Countryman, but this subcompact crossover is quite practical too, with above-average predicted reliability and stellar safety scores.

MSRP: $22,750

In IIHS crash testing, the Countryman earns the best score of Good in all categories, including Small Overlap Front, Moderate Overlap Front, Side Crash, Roof Strength, and Head Restraint crash testing.

2017 Buick Envision

2017 Buick Envision
Source: General Motors

U.S. News Safety Score: 9.3 out of 10

The Envision is Buick's all-new luxury compact SUV. It has potent turbocharged engines; comfortable, spacious seats; and lots of tech features, as well as excellent safety features. These include available forward collision avoidance and lane keeping assist.

MSRP: $35,870

The Envision also has the Safety Alert Seat that is available in other GM products, and it comes with the Teen Driver system, which monitors the speed, radio volume, and driving habits of young drivers in the family.

2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Source: Toyota Motors

U.S. News Safety Score: 9.3 out of 10

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid takes everything great about the conventionally powered RAV4 and adds a fuel-saving powertrain. Its rear seats have great legroom, and the infotainment is quite easy to use.

MSRP: $27,910

Toyota Safety Sense comes standard on the Limited trim. It includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.