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The 10 most dangerous car brands

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As a buyer, a vehicle’s safety rating is a crucial and complex component to consider. It concerns not only physical equipment, but also a car’s performance in challenging environments.

With this in mind, AxleGeeks sought to identify the most dangerous car brands by looking at IIHS and NHTSA safety ratings.

Additionally, AxleGeeks examined the safety features offered across model lines, including blind-spot monitoring, pre-collision and post-collision safety systems, rearview camera, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning systems.

Ties were broken based on the percentage of model lines with an IIHS Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award.

#10. BMW

Safety Rating: 68
Percent of Model Lines with IIHS Awards: 3.4%

A mere 3.4 percent of BMW’s models earned IIHS honors, a considerably low score when compared with the 7.8 percent average per lineup of Germany luxury brands. However, 20.7 percent of its vehicles received a five-star NHTSA overall rating, giving it a slight edge over the 16.9 percent standard per lineup of its competitors.

While 37.9 percent of BMW’s models feature adaptive cruise control, compared to an average 45.5 percent among other German luxury brands, BMW fails to deliver blind-spot monitoring and collision safety systems.

#9. Mercedes-Benz

Safety Rating: 68
Percent of Model Lines with IIHS Awards: 11.1%

Only 5.6 percent of Mercedes-Benz’s models received an NHTSA overall five-star rating. By comparison, German luxury brands averaged 16.9 percent with five-star overall ratings. However, the IIHS awarded 11.1 percent of its models with safety awards, a slight jump from the average of its competitors, which stands at 7.8 percent per lineup.

The manufacturer falls behind its competitors in its safety features as well: Only 8.3 percent of Mercedes-Benz model lines feature blind-spot monitoring, while German luxury brands average 17.5 percent across their model lines. Pre- and post-collision safety systems, however, are more commonly found in Mercedes-Benz vehicles than among its competitors (5.6 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively), though they remain rare features.

#8. Cadillac

Safety Rating: 68
Percent of Model Lines with IIHS Awards: None

Approximately 42 percent of Cadillac’s model lineups achieved a five-star NHTSA overall rating, a fall from the 48.5 percent standard per lineup of American luxury brands. Furthermore, Cadillac equips fewer vehicles with safety features such as a rearview camera, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control than its American luxury brand competitors.

#7. Jeep

Safety Rating: 67
Percent of Model Lines with IIHS Awards: None

Though Jeep doesn’t possess the safety ratings of Subaru or Volvo, it stands out among other American non-luxury brands: Jeep equips 28.6 percent of its vehicles with a post-collision safety system, while the average for American non-luxury brands with this capability is 21.1 percent.

#6. GMC

Safety Rating: 67
Percent of Model Lines with IIHS Awards: 10.5%

GMC falls behind its fellow American non-luxury brands: Only 15.8 percent of its vehicles received a five-star NHTSA overall rating while an average of 32.7 percent of American non-luxury model lineups earned the same rating. The IIHS ratings further illustrate this: A mere 10.5 percent of GMC’s vehicles earned IIHS honors while the average per lineup of its competitors was 16.4 percent.

#5. Mitsubishi

Safety Rating: 67
Percent of Model Lines with IIHS Awards: 44.4%

Just over 44 percent of Mitsubishi’s models received IIHS awards, a fall from the 47.1 percent average per lineup of Japanese luxury brands. Furthermore, Mitsubishi equips only 11.1 percent of its vehicles with a pre-collision safety system, whereas the average of all Japanese non-luxury brands that have this capability is 21.4 percent.

#4. Nissan

Safety Rating: 66
Percent of Model Lines with IIHS Awards: 25.7%

Only 10.3 percent of Nissan’s models achieved a five-star NHTSA overall rating, placing it well below the 38.6 percent per lineup standard of other Japanese non-luxury brands. Additionally, 25.7 percent of its models earned IIHS accolades while its competitors averaged 47.1 percent per lineup.

#3. Ram

Safety Rating: 65
Percent of Model Lines with IIHS Awards: None

A mere 16.7 percent of Ram’s models received a five-star overall NHTSA safety rating, a far fall from the rates of its competitors like Ford and GMC. However, it equips more of its models with great safety features: Over 38 percent of its vehicles come with a post-collision safety system, while American non-luxury brands with this feature average 21.1 percent.

#2. Jaguar

Safety Rating: 64
Percent of Model Lines with IIHS Awards: None

Jaguar falls far behind its luxury brand competitors, including Acura, Infiniti and Lincoln, for its lack of safety features and credentials — only 14.3 percent of its vehicles feature adaptive cruise control while the average per lineup of all British luxury brands with this capability is 20 percent.

#1. Mini

Safety Rating: 62
Percent of Model Lines with IIHS Awards: 10%

Mini earns the title as the most dangerous car brand, as only 10 percent of its 2015-2016 lineup received IIHS awards. By comparison, the average per lineup of non-luxury brands earning IIHS honors is 30.6 percent.

Its models lack blind spot monitoring and pre-collision safety systems; only 10 percent of its models feature post-collision safety features, while 16.3 percent of all non-luxury brands boast this component.

Review of the Most Dangerous Brands

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