Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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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 Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 23, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • The Toyota RAV4 was given the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating in 2017
  • The Audi did not perform well in most tests, and it doesn’t have any top safety pick ratings
  • The Toyota RAV4 comes with some insurance discounts from some insurance companies because of its excellent safety ratings

It’s not often you find people comparing an Audi to a Toyota, but that’s precisely what happens when people want to know which vehicles have the best safety ratings.

The Toyota RAV4 and the Audi Q3 both fall into the small SUV category with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which means consumers spend ample time comparing the two vehicles.

They’re both the only one from their manufacturer family in each category, and that’s what makes it even more competitive.

The IIHS spends time going over the safety features and ratings of all vehicles every year when they’re introduced, and they pick vehicles from every category to rate as the safest.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does the same, and both rating systems tend to agree heavily on which vehicles are the safest and which are the least safe in every category.

Looking for a small SUV with a great safety rating is not always just about the family. While their safety is often the most important thing anyone looks for when buying a new SUV, it’s also the cost of ownership as a whole.

When you drive a car with a great safety rating, you don’t pay as much to insure the vehicle as you might one without a great safety rating due to the fact that some hold up better than others in accident situations.

Compare car insurance quotes to see how these vehicles compare for premium prices. Enter your zip code above to get started.

How the Safest Cars are Chosen by the IIHS

The following categories are rated in every car by the IIHS:

  • Crashworthiness
  • Crash mitigation and avoidance
  • Child seat anchors

Each one is broken down into several subcategories and rated based on the overall performance of the SUV during each crash test. The vehicles are graded based on how well each test is handled by specific areas of the vehicle.

Once tested, each vehicle’s categories are rated and graded with letters.

  • “G” is the best rating, and it is for good.
  • “A” is not a bad rating to receive, and it means acceptable.
  • “M” means marginal, which is not a rating any vehicle wants to receive in any crash testing.
  • “P” is the lowest grade and score a vehicle can get, and it’s not something consumers want to see when you are checking safety ratings.

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Toyota RAV4 Safety Ratings in 2018

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 has a bevy of safety features that make it a Top Safety Pick+ for the year as rated by the IIHS. This is the highest honor a small SUV can receive, and it does help with insurance discounts.

All the categories in the rating system are given a “G” score except for the headlights and one portion of the small front overlap. The headlights are rated “A” on the Toyota.

The small overlap in the front is part of the crashworthiness category, and it has two grades. It has a “G” on the driver side and a “P” on the passenger side.

If you aren’t driving anyone around or you don’t care that much about this one poor score, you might not care much that this rating was issued.

Audi Q3 Safety Ratings in 2018

The 2018 Audi Q3 did not perform well in the 2018 crash tests and other areas:

  • It’s not a top safety pick
  • It’s not ranked high on the list of safest small SUVs
  • It’s not overly impressive in terms of its abilities on the road

Performance-wise, this is an SUV that makes people want to drive it. Safety-wise, it’s not something people consider as much when they see what the IIHS has to say.

All the crashworthiness tests received a “G” rating, but the headlights and latch did not rank high enough to receive a “G” rating. The headlights, in fact, were given a “P” rating. This is the worst possible rating in any category.

The LATCH system was given an “A” rating, which is still great. While it might not be the safest vehicle in the small SUV category, it’s still safer than many others on the list and shouldn’t be immediately discounted because of a few lower ratings.

The Toyota Is Safer

If you are choosing a small SUV based solely on the safety ratings, the Toyota wins without question.

It has Top Safety Pick+ rating, and that’s the best a car can get. This score means you get a better rate on your insurance no matter where you live.

Laws in every state require drivers have at least a certain amount of state-required insurance, and this helps afford a better policy.

To help you better afford an insurance policy that protects you in case of an accident, ask for discounts where they are available. Don’t forget to mention what you drive when you call to compare rates with various companies so they have all the facts when they give you rate quotes.

If you drive a safe car with a great rating, you can’t afford to skip taking the discount. Enter your zip code below to compare rates and find the best deal for the car insurance coverage you need.