Many sports cars and supercars don’t undergo intensive crashworthiness and prevention testing with agencies like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, there are a few sports cars and hot hatch options with Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ ratings from the IIHS. If you want a safe, fun vehicle, check out one of the safest sports cars, like the 2022 Toyota GR86.
The Subaru BRZ is an excellent choice for potential owners who want a capable driver’s car with top safety credentials. The BRZ might not be as fast as a 2022 Ford Mustang GT or Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack, but it’s an affordable, fun alternative. First, the BRZ’s rear-wheel drive (RWD), coupe platform is as traditional as sports cars get. Unfortunately for convertible fans, Subaru doesn’t offer its BRZ sports car as a drop-top.
Still, the Subaru has an optional six-speed manual transmission, which makes for a fun, back-to-the-fundamentals sports coupe. Finally, the diminutive Subaru earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS. That’s good news for enthusiasts and fun-seekers who want a driver’s car with safety scores to boast.
While the Toyota GR86 doesn’t have all-wheel drive (AWD), it does have a Top Safety Pick+, just like the Subaru BRZ. Better yet, the GR86 shares the Subaru’s 228-horsepower 2.4L flat four-cylinder engine and an available manual transmission. That means potential owners can enjoy a serious driver’s car.
Moreover, TrueCar says the newest 2023 Toyota GR86 starts at $28,995, around $600 less than the closely comparable 2023 BRZ. As a result, whether you want a Subaru or Toyota badge on your coupe, both options are safe, fun sports cars for potential owners.
The Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 are as closely related as possible without being the same car. Both vehicles share architecture, a 2.4L four-cylinder engine, and an available six-speed manual. However, the Toyota GR86 packs stiffer suspension characteristics and, as a result, faster lap times and a slightly quicker sprint to 60 mph. MotorTrend tested the 2022 Toyota GR86 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds, and the Toyota managed 0.05 g better than the Subaru on the skidpad. That doesn’t translate to a ton of difference in real-world performance, but if you want the sharper of the two cars, the Toyota just barely outhandles the Subaru.
While the Volkswagen Golf R might not be a traditional sports car, it’s quicker and safer than most modern coupe and convertible options. First, the Golf R earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS, just like the 2022 Subaru BRZ and 2022 Toyota GR86. However, the Volkswagen Golf R’s 315 horsepower and 4Motion AWD system allow the five-door hatchback to hit 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds.
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