It can feel like there’s a lot of pressure on choosing the right car if you know you’ve got a little one on the way, so we’ve done the hard work for you.

While these cars have variations in their pros and cons, we’ve compared the safety data, to provide you with our comprehensive, objective list of the five safest cars for families, rated by their child safety.

5. Subaru Outback

Although ranked at number 5, the Subaru Outback is actually one of the top-rated cars for its safety assist equipment. Equipped with automatic emergency breaks (AEB) for sensing vulnerable road users, potential car-to-car collisions, and pedestrians behind the vehicle, this car is on your side when it comes to road safety.

This car boasts easy installation of car seats in the rear seats, although not in the central rear seat  or front passenger seat. However, external seatbelts are easily fitted to all seats, as well as seatbelt reminders; an essential thing to be considered in the safest cars for families. Lane keep assist, emergency lane keeping, and human machine interface are all rated highly, too, but this car’s downfall came as a result of test crashes.

In the Subaru Outback, critical body regions of children were protected well in its frontal offset test, but further tests showed that 10-year-old children would not be protected  as well in the event of a side-on collision. While this Subaru provides good protection elsewhere and its safety assist is exceptional, this drawback may be something to bear in mind.

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4. Audi Q4 E-tron

Our fourth and third position cars in this list are rated the same for both adult and child safety. The Audi Q4 E-Tron does what the Subaru Outback does and more when it comes to safety. For example, its rest recommendation system takes feedback from the steering input to decide whether the driver is too tired to be behind the wheel.

Seatbelt reminders are in place for all seats in the Audi Q4 E-Tron, and most car seats can be fitted to the front passenger seat as well as the outer rear seats, unlike the Subaru Outback.

AEB is installed for the detection of vulnerable road users and car-to-car interaction, as well as speed and lane assist for the driver. Fortunately, the emergency lane keeping and human machine interface received scores of ‘good’ in the car’s Euro NCAP report.

More storage space and legroom make this car great for family holidays or overnight trips as a bonus to all the car’s safety benefits. This car could be a solid choice if you’re soon to start a family.

3. Polestar 2

The Polestar 2 outranks the Audi Q4 E-Tron because it’s safety assist and consideration of vulnerable road users are objectively better, despite their passenger safety being the same.

This car boasts lane and speed assist systems, an active bonnet, and automatic emergency brakes for car-to-car collisions and sensing vulnerable road users. While its human machine interface is perhaps not the best on this list, its emergency lane-keeping and lane assist are very effective.

Airbag deployment is another success of the Polestar 2. Side head airbags are fitted for driver, passenger and rear sets, and the front passenger seat airbag can be disabled to instead allow a rear-facing child restraint, if you should choose.

2. Nissan Qashqai

Our second highest rated car, the Nissan Qashqai actually rates the same as our top spot for child safety, as well as ranking higher for safety assist. The surplus of safety features is why we believe it to be one of the safest cars 2022 has to offer. It really is the little things that separate our top two cars, so consider what’s most important to you when deciding between these cars.

The Nissan Qashqai offers good neck protection in both the front and rear seats, as well as plenty of airbags in place to prevent children in the back seats from hitting chairs or each other in the event of a crash.

Like many of the other cars in this list, car seats can be easily fitted to the outboard seats in the back row, and seatbelt reminders and occupant detection is in place for all seats.

Perhaps most importantly, however, this car fared well in its crash tests during production. In its test for frontal offset and side barrier impact, child protection in the Nissan Qashqai for all critical areas was either good or adequate; higher than any other cars up to this point. Its safety assist features also allowed this car to avoid impacts in almost all case during tests of its reactions to other vehicles.

1. Mercedes-EQ EQS

Our top slot on our list of the safest cars goes to the Mercedes-EQ EQS. It has the best safety features for children and adults, ensuring that the entire family is safe, whatever their ages. As previously mentioned, however, its safety assist isn’t quite on par with the Nissan Qashqai’s, so bear this in mind when deciding on your car.

A new release as of 2021, this 5-door hatchback has belt reminders, pretensioners and load limiters built in for all seats. Car seats, of course, are easy to install in both back seats, although most are not applicable to the centre back seat or the front passenger seat.

The EQS can also decelerate to a stop without use of the brake pedal, thanks to its recuperation programme. Deceleration can automatically be applied when slowing vehicles are detected ahead, in order to prevent collisions.

This car has all the same sensors as those previously mentioned: lane and speed assists, active bonnet, reverse AEB for pedestrians and car-to-car registry. The shining standout of the EQS, however, is that it can have up to 350 sensors depending on your package. They record and measure speed, lighting, temperature, distance, surroundings, seat occupancy, and even the driver’s eye movement to measure awareness. This allows the car to make split-second decisions for the driver and passengers’ safety.

Drive safe with

Whichever car you decide to buy to transport your growing family, at we can help you find the one that’s right for you.

We have the safest used cars for families, provided by reliable sellers all over the UK, and the safety-conscious car of your dreams may well be among them.

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