Safest cars for your novated lease in Australia in 2014

If you are contemplating getting a novated lease car in the new year, there are a few things you should contemplate.

One of them is how safe your new vehicle will be on the roads.

Luckily, the American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has revealed its list of the safest cars on the roads in 2014, which could give you some idea of the type of car you will want to get behind the wheel of.

In order to meet the new criteria for the highest accolade, "Top Safety Pick ," cars must feature good performance in "the overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests
and, for the first time, good or acceptable performance in the small overlap front test introduced in 2012," according to a December 19 media statement.

This criteria has been tightened to include small overlap crash, which gives manufacturers credit for providing crash avoidance technology.

In the test, 25 per cent of the front end of the vehicle strikes a rigid barrier on the drivers side while the car is going a speed of 40 mph (64 kmh). This judges the safety of a car if it were to hit an item such as a power pole or a tree.

"This year, that means vehicles that not only protect their occupants in a crash but also have systems that can prevent or mitigate front-to-rear crashes" are rewarded, the December 19 statement says.

This was included in their testing after research by the Highway Loss Data Institute demonstrated these forward collision warning and automatic braking systems are in fact helping to reduce the likelihood of crashes.

It appears front safety collision equipment is what those buying novated leases in Australia in 2014 should consider in order to ensure occupants are protected to the highest extent.

The American company has given cars that offer this technology a higher rating even where it is not fitted as a standard item but as a more costly add on, in a bid to make this technology more widespread.

Honda was the big winner where safety is concerned, if this list is anything to go by. The stricter rules mean the number of cars that qualified for the top safety rating by this company have dropped from 130 in 2013 to just 39 in 2014.

Honda's Civic, Accord (two and four door), 6 and Odyssey models were all included in this list as were the Subaru Legacy, Outback and Forester models, Volvo S60, S80 and XC60.

Mazda also had a strong line up in this list with the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 achieving the highest ranking.

Ford had two vehicles, the Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ, in the top list and Toyota also had the Toyota Highlander. Other top-ranked vehicles included in the list are the Infiniti Q50, the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Mercedes-Benz M-Class.