Volvo enjoys a safety reputation, but the Swedish automaker comes in second to General Motors’ Buick brand in a ranking of the safest used cars.

Search-engine firm iSeeCars.com analyzed 30 million car listings to determine which brands had the highest percentage of 5-star safety rated vehicles. 

Buick took first place with more than 26% of its used-car listings getting a NHTSA 5-star safety designation.

Volvo came next with 24%. Researchers for iSeeCars.com say Buick’s top showing surprised them.

“Another surprising finding is that, while Honda was one of the most popular used- car brands in the study overall based on volume, it came in 12th place,” iSeeCars.com co-founder and CEO Phong Ly says. “Only 12% of Honda’s total car listings have a 5-star safety rating.”  

For the rankings, iSeeCars.com went through 30 million car listings in the past year.

The firm analyzed 30 million car listings posted on its site in the past year, and calculated 5-star safety ratings by brand for model years ’01 through ’14. It took the number of listings with 5-star status divided by all car listings with NHTSA ratings. Here is the ranking:

  1. Buick: 26.4%
  2. Volvo: 24.0%
  3. Audi: 21.4%
  4. BMW: 18.6%
  5. Chevrolet: 16.2%
  6. Lincoln: 15.2%
  7. Cadillac: 14.3%
  8. Kia: 14.2%
  9. Acura: 14.0%
  10. Hyundai: 12.7%
  11. GMC: 12.3%
  12. Honda: 11.9%

Buick scoring by vehicle model is as follows: Regal (67%), Enclave (45%), LaCrosse (33%) and Encore (30%).

iSeeCars.com.com is a search-engine firm with proprietary algorithm that ranks cars by calculating an overall score based on analysis of condition, history, negotiability, pricing and competitiveness.

sfinlay@wardsauto.com