Is Audi’s safety rating on small SUVs better than Ford’s?

Audi and Ford were both given decent safety scores by the IIHS, but neither was named a Top Safety Pick. Safety measures can decrease your auto insurance rates by up to 8%.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 28, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • The Audi Q3 is not rated for front crash prevention efforts in the current model year
  • The Ford Escape is equipped with a child safety LATCH that’s rated difficult to use
  • Both Ford and Audi fell short in the safety ratings, which means neither of them is eligible for vehicle safety discounts from car insurance agencies

Shopping for a small SUV is different for every family. What’s most important to you in a small SUV might not be important to someone else.

If you find yourself in the market for a small SUV and unable to decide between the Ford Escape and the Audi Q3, you’re not alone.

Both manufacturers have only one vehicle each in the small SUV category, and many people find they enjoy the overall appearance and practicality of both.

The Ford Escape was completely redesigned in recent model years to appear sleeker and chicer, and it’s become a much more aesthetically appealing vehicle as a result. It’s helped put the Ford in more of a competition with the Audi than ever before.

Most people won’t consider the Ford and the Audi worth comparing because they are vastly different vehicles, but they do have the same size and they are in the same class.

The Audi is a luxury vehicle, but Ford is not considered a luxury vehicle.

In recent years, however, Ford has upped its optional features game to allow consumers to increase the luxury of the Ford they want to drive, and the price is far more affordable than the price of Audi’s small SUV.

The determining factor between these two small SUVs, however, is the safety ratings. Anyone in the market for a small SUV might agree that finding the safest vehicle is the best option.

Not only are safety ratings important for you and your family, but they do also play a role in the cost of insurance.

If you’re looking to drive a luxury small SUV while saving money in other areas of ownership, it helps to know if the Q3 comes with a high safety rating that helps lower the cost of insurance. The same goes for Ford.

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How do I choose the safest vehicle for my family?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question because all families are different. Perhaps you have kids and want a small SUV that allows you a bit more room than a traditional sedan.

If you do, you want to pay close attention to the safety ratings that help keep your kids safe such as the latch system. If you don’t have kids in car seats, the latch’s safety rating is unimportant and therefore not a factor in your overall consideration.

The safest vehicle for your family is the one that makes you most comfortable in terms of overall safety whether it’s the Ford or the Audi.

Your job is to go through the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) ratings and figure out which one has the best ratings in the categories that mean the most to you and your family.

That’s how you choose the best vehicle for your family. You should also consider the safety ratings and how they affect your insurance. Sometimes finding the most cost-effective vehicle is what’s best for you and your family.


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How does the IIHS rate vehicles?

The IIHS has a list of three categories with their own subcategories, and they provide them with letter grades to determine the safety of each vehicle. Each vehicle is broken down into three categories and their subcategories.

  • Crashworthiness – Small Overlap Front, Moderate Overlap Front, Side Strength, Roof Strength, Head Restraints and Seats
  • Crash Avoidance and Mitigation – Front Crash Prevention and Headlights
  • Child Seat Anchors – LATCH

Each subcategory is given its own letter grade. These grades range from best to worst.

  • “G” for good
  • “A” for acceptable
  • “M” for marginal
  • “P” for poor

The front crash prevention subcategory is given a safety rating score rather than a letter grade. It can receive a superior, advanced, or basic rating.

To earn a Top Safety Pick, a small SUV must meet the following requirements:

  • Perfect “G” ratings in every crashworthiness subcategory
  • Advanced rating or superior rating during front crash prevention testing

For the Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles must also earn acceptable or good ratings when the headlights are tested.

Audi vs. Ford Safety Ratings

The Audi Q3 did not receive a front crash prevention score, but it did perform well in most categories:

  • All “G” ratings in crashworthiness
  • Headlights received a “P” rating
  • LATCH received an “A” rating

The Ford Escape did well also:

  • “G” rating in four crashworthiness categories except an “A” rating in small front overlap
  • Basic front crash prevention rating
  • Headlights received an acceptable rating
  • LATCH received a marginal rating
  • Choosing the Best Small SUV

If you’re in the market for a safe small SUV for your family and your insurance rates, you might not find what you want with the Ford or the Audi.

Both rank relatively low on the list of safe small SUVs, and neither will offer you an insurance discount as they are not Top Safety Pick award winners. There are several that are, but the choice is ultimately yours.

Choosing the best small SUV for your family means digging deeper into the insurance discounts and other savings you receive.

The best small SUV is usually the one that costs less to maintain and has the best upgrades and features as well as insurance breaks.

Be sure to ask your insurance agent which discounts you might get for each car prior to buying, and then ask for discounts if you are retired, if you don’t commute to and from work, and if you put minimal miles on your car every year.

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