The 2016 Sonata has, for the second year in a row, received a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS.
And that's despite the fact that requirements have been tightened for 2016. In order to qualify, winners had to earn good rating in all five of the Institute's crash-worthiness tests, specifically the small overlap crash test, moderate overlap crash test, side and roof strength as well as head restraint tests.
On top of that, winners had to have an available front crash prevention system in order to earn an advanced or superior rating.
"Occupant safety, above all other things, is the single most important factor when designing and engineering Hyundai vehicles", said Mike O'Brien, corporate & product planning VP for Hyundai. "Receiving this award, given the increasing demands of the test, is a testament to our emphasis on safety at every price point, and is a point of pride for every Hyundai associate."
For 2016, the Sonata is packing more safety gear then ever, as Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) has been made available to models previously equipped with Forward Collision Warning (FCW). Additional safety options include Lane Departure Warning, Smart Cruise Control with stop/start capability, rear parking sensors, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist.
The vehicle also comes standard with Stability Management, Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control, to go with the driver's side blind spot mirror, the 7 airbags, four-wheel disc brakes and ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
IIHS president Adrian Lund praised the Sonata, commenting that the car's structure "was improved to raise the small overlap front ratings from acceptable to good," compared to 2015. "With a more rigorous test environment for 2016, receiving another TOP SAFETY PICK+ award acknowledges Hyundai’s commitment to occupant safety by consistently engineering strength and quality improvements into its vehicles."