Recs for the safest sedan with very good gas mileage?

I’m just starting the process of searching for new car which I will purchase in the next 6-8 months. I drive long distances (40 miles each way) several times a week on a two lane state highway that has lots of truck traffic. I usually have my kids in the car so I am looking for the safest possible car that gets very good mileage. I’d like a hybrid or something that cuts down on my gas consumption but I’m not sure it that is realistic. I need to seat five-maybe a Mercedes or Volvo? What do you guys think?

Subaru, Honda are tops for safety. Honda would be where I would look.

I see a change happening in the CarTalk Forum, instead of saying one type of vehicle is “safer” than another more emphasis is placed upon driver behaviour in determining if a safe condition exists.

Mercedes is known to use materials, designs, techniques that will provide good occupant protection in the event of a crash but these features still will not prevent the crash.

I would like to see these “what vehicle is safer” questions presented in the form of “what vehicle provides the best”, and then list the parameters of your question.Then those that know the test data can refer to that data.

Thanks Andrew and Oldschool. OS, I think those are good points. So here is what I am looking for (and suggestions about how to improve my question are appreciated):
-excellent crash avoidance technology
-excellent protection for occupants, including those in the backseat, in the event of a crash
-excellent protection for occupants in the event of a crash with a large vehicle
-very good gas mileage (I can also go diesel but I’m haven’t done the research on the pros/cons)
-reliability for the long term as I keep cars for a long time
I can consider luxury brands and other pricey options, as per your suggestions.

Fist place I’d start is with the Consumer Reports car buyers guide. You can also look here for car safety ratings:

Don’t get too hung up on ‘safest’, there’s lots of tradeoffs involved.

All new cars with the size to carry your kids, seating for 6 are really safe. Some a bit safer than others but all new cars are very safe.

I’d seriously look at the Toyota Venza. It is a crossover based on the Camry and gets good mpg for its size and has plenty of room. It is the lastest design and has all the most up to date safety features incorporated into it by design. Perhaps the best balance of safety, capacity, mpg, and comfort.

Buick Lacrosse, New Ford Taurus, Chevy Malibu