The Hyundai Elantra, a small car, qualifies for the highest award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after earning an acceptable rating in the new passenger-side small overlap front crash test.
The Elantra, which previously earned the 2018 TOP SAFETY PICK award, now qualifies for TOP SAFETY PICK+ when equipped with optional front crash prevention and good-rated headlights.
To qualify for the 2018 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, vehicles must earn a good rating in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests; an acceptable or good rating in the passenger-side small overlap test; an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention; and a good headlight rating.
In the Elantra’s passenger-side test, the passenger space was maintained reasonably well, with maximum intrusion of 7 inches at the lower door-hinge pillar. The dummy’s head contacted the front airbag, but slid off toward the right, leaving the head at risk of striking forward structure. The side curtain airbag deployed and had sufficient coverage to protect the head from contact with side structure and outside objects. Measures taken from the dummy showed a low risk of injuries in a crash of the same severity.
The acceptable rating applies to Elantras built after December, when the door-hinge pillar and door sill were reinforced to improve protection in passenger-side small overlap crashes.
The Elantra’s optional front crash prevention system earns a superior rating. In IIHS track tests at 12 mph, the vehicle avoided a collision. In 25 mph track tests, the impact speed was reduced by an average of 22 mph. The system also includes a forward collision warning component that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.
The Elantra’s optional high-intensity discharge headlights earn a good rating. They include high-beam assist, a feature that automatically switches between high beams and low beams depending on the presence of other vehicles. The standard halogen lights earn a poor rating.