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Consumer Report: 2018 Best Cars with Good Gas Mileage for Keeping Your Family Safe while Enjoying the Ride!

Decades of research and development in automobile manufacturing and recent innovations in safety engineering have made new vehicles safer than ever.

As the technology advances the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues to raise safety standards for the cars they test.

Below are four of The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s top picks for the safest family cars available in 2018.

Comparison of Vehicles by Price, Amount Sold, & Safety

Below is table of the vehicles compared by price, the amount sold the previous year, the style or body type, and safety score for each.

 Audi A4Audi S4Cadillac ATSFord Focus ElectricKia OptimaKia Optima Hybrid
Vehicles Sold54,6878,77221,505
901124,20334,828
Price$36,000$51,400$37,895$29,120$22,500$25,995
Safety Score9.1 / 10 n/a10 / 109.4 / 1010 / 1010 / 10
TypeSedan Sedan Sedan/CoupeHatchbackSedanSedan

2018 Audi A4/S4

Audi’s 2018 luxury A4 sedan and its performance-oriented sister model the S4 have both earned top marks in every NHTSA safety category.

2018 Audi A4

Image Credit: Autoblog.com

Note: The Audi A4 is a classy sedan with a safety score of 9.1 out of 10.

The basic front wheel drive versions and models with the optional Quattro all-wheel drive were given 5-star ratings in side impact, frontal crash tests, and rollover protection tests. The basic model starts at $36,000.

Specifications of A4

2018 Audi A42.0 TFSI Premium Plus 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)2.0 TFSI Premium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Price$39,200$43,700$36,000
Combined MPG282728
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy)25/33 mpg24/34 mpg25/33 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity15.3 gal.15.3 gal.15.3 gal.
Fuel Typepremium unleaded (recommended)premium unleaded (recommended)premium unleaded (recommended)
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy)382.5/504.9 mi.367.2/520.2 mi.382.5/504.9 mi.
Transmission7-speed automated manual7-speed automated manual7-speed automated manual
Basic Warranty4 yr./ 50000 mi.4 yr./ 50000 mi.4 yr./ 50000 mi.
Base Engine Typegasgasgas
Total Seating555
Drive Trainfront wheel drivefront wheel drivefront wheel drive
Base Engine Size2.0 L2.0 L2.0 L
Cam TypeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)
Cylindersinline 4inline 4inline 4
Horsepower190 hp @ 4200 rpm252 hp @ 5000 rpm190 hp @ 4200 rpm
Torque236 ft-lbs. @ 1450 rpm273 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm236 ft-lbs. @ 1450 rpm
Valve TimingVariableVariableVariable
Valves161616

Specifications of S4

Audi S4Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)Prestige quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
Price$51,400$55,800
Combined MPG2424
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy)21/30 mpg21/30 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity15.3 gal.15.3 gal.
Fuel Typepremium unleaded (recommended)premium unleaded (recommended)
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy)321.3/459.0 mi.321.3/459.0 mi.
Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic8-speed shiftable automatic
Basic Warranty4 yr./ 50000 mi.4 yr./ 50000 mi.
Base Engine Typegasgas
Total Seating55
Drive Trainall wheel driveall wheel drive
Base Engine Size3.0 L3.0 L
Cam TypeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)
CylindersV6V6
Horsepower354 hp @ 5400 rpm354 hp @ 5400 rpm
Torque369 ft-lbs. @ 1370 rpm369 ft-lbs. @ 1370 rpm
Valve TimingVariableVariable
Valves2424

2018 Cadillac ATS

Like the Audi, this small-size luxury sedan from Cadillac earned 5-star ratings in all safety categories. The Cadillac ATS hasn’t missed a trick in rollover protection, front, rear, or side impact testing.

2018 Cadillac ATS

Note: The 2018 Cadillac is one of the safest sedans on the road. Its safety score is 10 out of 10.

It has two available safety technologies recommended by NHTSA: theĀ lane departure warning, and forward collision warning that make up its optional Driver Awareness Package. The basic modelĀ starts at $37,800.

Specifications

Cadillac ATSLuxury 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)Luxury 2dr Coupe AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Price$41,695$43,695$37,895
Combined MPG252525
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy)22/31 mpg22/30 mpg22/31 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity16.0 gal.16.0 gal.16.0 gal.
Fuel Typepremium unleaded (recommended)premium unleaded (recommended)premium unleaded (recommended)
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy)352.0/496.0 mi.352.0/480.0 mi.352.0/496.0 mi.
Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic8-speed shiftable automatic8-speed shiftable automatic
Basic Warranty4 yr./ 50000 mi.4 yr./ 50000 mi.4 yr./ 50000 mi.
Base Engine Typegasgasgas
Total Seating444
Drive Trainrear wheel driveall wheel driverear wheel drive
Base Engine Size2.0 L2.0 L2.0 L
Cam TypeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)
Cylindersinline 4inline 4inline 4
Horsepower272 hp @ 5500 rpm272 hp @ 5500 rpm272 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque295 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm295 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm295 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm
Valve TimingVariableVariableVariable
Valves161616

2018 Ford Focus Electric

The NHTSA tested all three versions of the 2018 Ford Focus and awarded a 5-star rating to all of them. But only the Ford Focus Electric received top marks in every test category.

2018 Fprd Focus Electric

Note: The only smaller hatchback vehicle reviewed, the Ford Focus Electric not only saves on gas but has an excellent safety score of 9.4 out of 10.

The conventional combustion engine hatchback and sedan rated four stars in rollover and front impact tests. The Electric plug-in Focus hatchback, the recipient of a surprising amount of research and development at Ford Motor Company, has surprised everyone by out-pacing its siblings on all points.

The electric Focus is more expensive than the gas powered versions, but it has more features and is less expensive to own.

New Focus Electric owners can qualify for local and federal incentives to purchase electric vehicles. Basic models start at $29,159.

Specifications

Ford Focus ElectricElectric 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
Price$29,120
Combined MPG107
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy)118/96 mpg
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy)118/96 mpg (electric)
Transmission1-speed direct drive
Basic Warranty3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Base Engine Typeelectric
Total Seating5
Drive Trainfront wheel drive

2018 Kia Optima and Optima Hybrid

Both the conventional gas powered Optima, and the hybrid won top ratings in every NHTAS safety test. It was also named the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS)

2018 Kia Optima

Image Credit: Kia.com

Note: The Kia Optima is one of the safest sedans on the market with a safety score of 10 out of 10.

Top Safety Pick. The powertrain has received mixed reviews since some critics say transitions between gas/electric powers are jarring, but about half of them say otherwise.

Similar reviews have come in about its responsiveness and power, some critics say it performs well and others disagree.

But they all agree that the interior is spacious, rich in high-end materials and comfortable. Basic models start at $25,990.

Optima Specifications

Kia OptimaLX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)EX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)SX Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Price$22,500$25,600$30,500
Combined MPG292825
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy)25/36 mpg24/34 mpg22/31 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity18.5 gal.18.5 gal.18.5 gal.
Fuel Typeregular unleadedregular unleadedregular unleaded
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy)462.5/666.0 mi.444.0/629.0 mi.407.0/573.5 mi.
Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic6-speed shiftable automatic6-speed shiftable automatic
Basic Warranty5 yr./ 60000 mi.5 yr./ 60000 mi.5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Base Engine Typegasgasgas
Total Seating555
Drive Trainfront wheel drivefront wheel drivefront wheel drive
Base Engine Size2.4 L2.4 L2.0 L
Cam TypeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)
Cylindersinline 4inline 4inline 4
Horsepower185 hp @ 6000 rpm185 hp @ 6000 rpm245 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque178 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm178 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm260 ft-lbs. @ 1350 rpm
Valve TimingVariableVariableVariable
Valves161616

Optima Hybrid Specifications

Kia Optima HybridPremium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)EX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
Price$25,995$30,990
Combined MPG4242
EPA Mileage Est. (Cty/Hwy)39/46 mpg39/46 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity15.9 gal.15.9 gal.
Fuel Typeregular unleadedregular unleaded
Range In Miles (Cty/Hwy)620.1/731.4 mi.620.1/731.4 mi.
Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic6-speed shiftable automatic
Basic Warranty5 yr./ 60000 mi.5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Base Engine Typehybridhybrid
Total Seating55
Drive Trainfront wheel drivefront wheel drive
Base Engine Size2.4 L2.4 L
Cam TypeDouble overhead cam (DOHC)Double overhead cam (DOHC)
Cylindersinline 4inline 4
Horsepower192 hp @ 6000 rpm192 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque271 ft-lbs. @ 1770 rpm271 ft-lbs. @ 1770 rpm
Valve TimingVariableVariable
Valves1616
Final Thoughts

If your family is on the hunt for the perfect car, you might want to keep safety in mind.

It might be worth spending more on these new models than settling on a used car if you want to keep your small family safe.

Make sure you know what the critics and lawyers are saying, and that you have done your research before making a decision.

Brooke Chaplan
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information on car safety visit this her event calendar or contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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