The Safest And Most Affordable Vehicles For Grandmas

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When it comes to our grandkids, there is no amount of money that is too much or too many resources available to keep them safe, as these tiny and precious humans are our everything! If you are like me, you began re-evaluating literally every part of your home (outlet protectors and safeguards for all the things? Check!) and life when you first learned that baby was on his or her way, including your vehicle! I get it, which is why I spent ample time researching which cars are the safest (and most affordable!) for transporting the grandkids:

Subaru Legacy

Subaru Legacy in the rain
Subaru of America, Inc.

I know what you are thinking: A Subaru? I can’t afford a Subaru! That’s what we thought, too, as not only are Subarus known to be one of the safest cars on the road but also one of the most expensive (including resale value). Surprisingly, this is not the case with the newer models, as they start at just under $24,000 and include a five-star NHTSA overall safety rating, comfortable seating, and surprisingly good gas mileage. 

Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler Pacifica van with hatch open
Chrysler Facebook

I have always wanted a van, as they are spacious and make it so darn easy to shuttle the kids! My husband, on the other hand, is vehemently opposed to owning one, which made our lives more difficult than they needed to be. Wait until I tell him that vans are best for transporting the grands, thanks to their size, function, and high safety rating. (Should I also mention that we don’t necessarily need a brand-new one, as the Pacifica scores well on safety tests year after year?)

Nissan Murano

Nissan Murano top safety pick
Nissan Facebook

SUVs can get very expensive very quickly, so I looked high and low for one that was extremely safe and somewhat affordable. That SUV is the Nissan Murano, which boasts a near-perfect U.S. News safety score plus an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. 
Note: Since it is an SUV, the cost is more than other models (with a starting price of around $30,000 new); however, even older, used models have many of the same safety features and accolades. 

Chevrolet Trailblazer 

Chevrolet Trailblazer off-road
Chevrolet Facebook

You’re not a regular grandma but a cool one, and you need a sleek ride to match your personality! If you are not ready to commit to a giant SUV or a van, I recommend looking into a Chevy Trailblazer: A smaller SUV with all of the perks you would expect from its full-size counterpart (the most important of which is the Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS). Even better? With its smaller size comes a smaller price tag of just under $23,000.

Mazda 3

Mazda 2.5 S Hatchback with Preferred Package shown
Mazda USA

Say what you want about Mazdas, but as a family who has owned several, I happen to love the brand and its reliability! Whether you buy new or used, you can generally get a good deal on any of their sedans; however, when it comes to safety, the pros recommend the new Mazda 3, which, like the Trailblazer, received a Top Safety Pick+ designation from the IIHS. Do you need another reason to love this sporty car? The price starts at under $22,000!

Dodge Ram

Dodge Ram pickup truck rear view

Don’t worry, truck-loving grandmas – I see you and am pleased to present the full-size Dodge Ram for your viewing pleasure. Do you remember when we were kids, and there was no place for us to sit in the pick-up? This is no longer the case, as models like the Dodge Ram have a roomy back seat and an impressive safety rating year after year. (I’m not going to sugarcoat it: buying a new truck is downright pricy, so keep your eyes peeled for more affordable used models that are deemed just as safe.) 

Lexus NX

Lexus NX action shot
Lexus Facebook

Yeah, yeah – I know this isn’t an affordable pick, but a grandma can dream, can’t she? If you have the means and enjoy the more luxurious things, a Lexus NX may just be the perfect nana-mobile for you, as it was named one of the 10 safest cars in the world by Hotcars! 

Kia K5

Kia K5 promo shot

Is the Lexus out of your price point? Mine, too… Fortunately for us, however, there is the Kia K5, AKA the model formerly known as the Optima. While it isn’t a Lexus per se, the Kia K5 still feels like a luxury vehicle, but with a much better price point (just under $24,000 vs. the Lexus NX’s $40,000+). Even better? The K5 (and Kia’s in general) is deemed one of the safest cars on the road, as it earned the highest ranking possible from the IIHS.

Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV4 advertisement
Toyota Facebook

Toyotas are an investment; however, they are well worth the price, as you will have them forever! You can literally pick any size or model of Toyota, and it will be safe, but I happen to like the RAV4 the best for its size and spaciousness. After looking over the IIHS results myself, I can also attest to the fact that the RAV4 passed everything with flying colors, making it a no-brainer for shuttling around the grandkids!

Honda Civic

Honda Civic test drive
Honda Facebook

Truth be told, I don’t have many friends with Hondas, so I wasn’t too sure about how safe they are or, well, basically anything else about them! However, after doing my due diligence in Googling, I am surprised that I don’t know more people with one, as their 2022 model nearly scored a perfect 5/5 across the board (minus one 4/5 for their overall Front Star Rating) from the NHTSA. Bonus? It’s a pretty snazzy-looking car, too.

Hyundai Elantra 

Hyundai Elantra at intersection
Hyundai Facebook

On a list I found of the top 10 safest cars on the road, the Hyundai Elantra came in at number one, thanks to special driver-assist and safety technologies that offer the driver and passengers a little more peace of mind. Another bonus of the Elantra? It isn’t just the new models that score well, but the older models, too, which makes for more affordable options for all.

Ford Explorer 

Ford Explorer preproduction vehicle
Ford Facebook

When Consumer Reports talks, this grandma listens, so if they say that the Explorer is (and always has been!) the gold standard in safety, you better believe that’s the truth! (As a former Ford Explorer owner, I can attest to the fact that they are not only safe but last FOREVER, making them an all-around no-brainer in my book.)

I hope my research gives insight into which vehicles are the safest for shuttling around the grandkids. I hope that by finding various vehicles with a variety of price points, you, too, will find your perfect car. From one Devoted Grandma to another: happy shopping! 

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