the 2017 model improved its performance in the small overlap front crash Test

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe / 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Earns Top Safety Pick+ Award from IIHS
Image: Hyundai
August 05, 2016

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded its top honor to the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Compared to previous models of the midsize SUV, the 2017 version has made improvements boosting protection in the small overlap front crash, earning a "good" rating. In addition, the vehicle has a new, optional front crash prevention system that garners a "superior" rating. These scores helped the model earn the agency's Top Safety Pick+ award.

The small overlap test replicates what happens when the front, driver-side corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object, such as a tree or utility pole. The earlier version of the Santa Fe, in this test, ad extensive structural damage to the driver's space, with intrusion measuring as much as 10 inches at the lower door hinge pillar. The dummy's head barely contacted the frontal airbag before sliding off the left side, as the steering column moved five inches to the right.

Hyundai reinforced the occupant compartment beginning with the 2017 model year. After production began, the driver safety belt was modified to further improve small overlap protection. Maximum intrusion was 4 inches at the lower door hinge pillar, and the safety belt and airbags worked well to control the dummy's movement. The "good" rating applies to 2017 Santa Fes built after March, when the safety belt was changed.

The Santa Fe also has "good" ratings in the Institute's moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.

The new model's optional front crash prevention system achieves the highest rating of "superior." When equipped with the system, the Santa Fe avoided collisions in 12 mph and 25 mph track tests. The system also includes a forward collision warning component that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.