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Is Chevy’s safety rating on small SUVs better than Volkswagen’s?

Things to remember...

  • The Chevy Trax performs poorly in front crash tests
  • The VW Tiguan was not tested on its front crash prevention abilities
  • The VW seats seven and the Chevy seats five

The only thing the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Chevy Trax have in common is their class. They’re both considered small SUVs despite the fact the Tiguan seats seven passengers and the Chevy only five.

The Tiguan is significantly larger and more comfortable in terms of space, but the Chevy boasts superior gas mileage on the highway and in the city.

Even the price of these two vehicles is vastly different. The starting price for the Chevy is approximately $20k, and the VW’s starting price is approximately $24k.

It’s difficult to believe two such different SUVs are in the same class, but they are.

Consumers might not spend much time comparing these two based on just the seating capacity alone, but sometimes you just can’t decide if those two extra seats are something you need or just want.

If you’re in the market for one or the other, you might want to know the following:

  • which is safer
  • which has more affordable insurance
  • which makes a better choice for you and your family

The first thing you should always do when you’re comparing new vehicles is to call your insurance agent to ask about the cost of insuring both. It takes only a few minutes and your agent can provide you with an exact premium amount for any small SUV on your list.

The amount your agent quotes might be a pro or a con on your shopping list, but you can also shop around for insurance quotes with other agencies if you’re dissatisfied with the rate your provider offers. Enter your zip code into our free tool above to compare quotes today.

Table of Contents

Safety Ratings Matter More than Just for Safety

You might consider the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) safety ratings on small SUVs important for nothing more than safety purposes, but it’s also important for insurance purposes.

When a vehicle is rated well in crash tests, insurance companies price them lower than over vehicles. Why? The answer is simple. A vehicle that stands up to crash tests successfully suffers less damage and passengers are less likely to suffer serious injury.

The IIHS rates vehicles on several key safety factors and each factor are given one of the following ratings:

  • good
  • acceptable
  • marginal
  • poor

You might notice the IIHS offers ratings using only the first letter of the rating to make it simpler for consumers to read.

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To ensure a car is equipped with outstanding features that are crashworthy, it’s rated on its side and roof, the seats, and the small and moderate overlap in the front.

To ensure the vehicle handles crash testing well, it’s rated on its front crash prevention abilities as well as the strength of its headlights.

All small SUVs contain child safety LATCH systems in the back, and they’re rated based on how easy or difficult they are to use. The theory is when a LATCH system is easy to use it’s used correctly and kids are kept safer.

Is the Volkswagen safer than the Chevy?

It’s easy to assume the Tiguan is safer than the Trax because it’s bigger and bigger vehicles are safer, right? This is not necessarily true as larger vehicles don’t always have the same stopping, swerving, or braking abilities as smaller cars.

Additionally, the larger the SUV sometimes means the vehicle can be more susceptible to rollovers. These are prime examples of why you should always check safety ratings before buying a new car.

Neither the Volkswagon or the Chevy are unsafe small SUVs, but neither ranks very high on the safety list of 23 small SUVs.

The Chevy is 14th on the list, and the VW is 20th on the list.

The Chevy performed well with all good ratings in terms of crashworthiness. The small front overlap front passenger side only received an acceptable rating.

The LATCH is easy to use with an acceptable rating, but the headlights were not rated. This small SUV tested poorly in front crash prevention tests, which is why it’s so far down the list.

The VW wasn’t rated for its front crash prevention, so it didn’t stand a chance of being rated highly. It also earned an unimpressive marginal score for its small overlap front driver side.

The headlights and LATCH system both earned acceptable ratings, which is impressive since no small SUV on the market received higher ratings in these two categories than acceptable.

Is affordability really important?

Affordability and safety are the two most important features in a small SUV in the eyes of most consumers. Thankfully, safety plays into affordability.

Since neither the Chevy or the VW earned any awards for safety ratings, they won’t be significantly less expensive to insure.

You can call your insurance company to compare rates, or you can compare rates with other companies to see which one is the most cost-effective and affordable for your budget.

You already know which one is cheaper, which one has better gas mileage, and both come standard with a factory warranty that lasts three years or 36,000 miles depending on which comes first.

You can call your insurance agent to ask for discounts unrelated to safety. If you’re retired, you’re not on the road often and your insurance agent might view you as a less risky driver.

If you’re a student with exceptional grades, you get a discount for that. If you’re young but you’re married, you get a discount for that. You can even net a few discounts for paying your premiums up front rather than monthly.

There’s almost always a way to make your vehicle more affordable. Get started comparing rates right now to find the company that offers the best price for the coverage you need. Enter your zip code below to begin!


  1. http://www.vw.com/models/tiguan/
  2. http://www.chevrolet.com/suvs/trax-small-suv
  3. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/v/class-summary/small-suvs
  4. http://www.chop.edu/pages/what-latch
  5. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-retirees-can-save-big-on-auto-insurance-2013-09-30
  6. https://www.nationwide.com/good-student-discount.jsp

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