The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has bestowed its highest safety rating to the all-new 2018 Hyundai Sonata. The South Korean automaker’s midsize sedan is now only one of four vehicles to earn the institute’s Top Safety Pick+ award in the midsize car segment.
Before the end of last year, the IIHS altered its requirements for vehicles to earn its coveted Top Safety Pick+ award. The new qualifications require vehicles to have “Good” rated headlights and earn a rating of at least “Acceptable” in small overlap front crashes for the passenger-side of the vehicle.
The new requirements are in addition to meeting the necessary obligations to earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick Award – have a rating of “Good” in five crash tests, a rating of at least “Advanced” in crash prevention, and headlights that earn a rating of at least “Acceptable.”
After the changes, the list of vehicles to qualify for the Top Safety Pick+ award fell to just 15. Despite the stricter rules, the new Sonata, which came out last summer, managed to ace the IIHS’ safety tests.
The Sonata earned a rating of “Good” in virtually all of the institute’s tests, except for the ease of use for the child seat anchors, which earned a rating of “Marginal.” By earning the Top Safety Pick+ award, the vehicle falls into the category of being one of the safest midsize cars on the road, which it shares with the Subaru Outback, Subaru Legacy, and Toyota Camry.
The rating, though, only applies to Sonatas that are equipped with the automaker’s Automatic Emergency Braking system, which is optional, and the LED headlights with Dynamic Bending Lights that’s available on vehicles built after September 2017.
The 2018 model year improves over last year’s model, which only earned the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick award. The 2017 sedan’s headlights were deemed “Poor,” which held it back from earning the Top Safety Pick+ rating.
The IIHS hasn’t released a video of the 2018 model going through its safety tests, but the institute recently made the video for last year’s model available, which you can check out below.