2024 Hyundai Sante Fe, Sonata, Ioniq 5 earn Top Safety Picks

The 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric crossover aced tougher new crash-test protocols to earn a Top Safety Pick+, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced on Thursday. 

Hyundai’s strong performance in other IIHS crash tests continued down the line, with the redesigned 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe three-row crossover SUV and the redesigned 2024 Hyundai Sonata sedan earning Top Safety Pick designations. Those two models missed the top TSP+ designation due to their “Marginal” and “Poor” ratings, respectively, in an updated front-crash test. 

The nonprofit safety agency funded by the insurance industry ratcheted up the safety criteria for the third year in a row for the industry’s most esteemed safety awards. This year, TSP+ winners must earn “Acceptable” or “Good” ratings in an updated front overlap test that measures the safety of rear-seat passengers sized like a small woman or a 12-year-old child positioned in the seat behind the driver, where protection has lagged in the past decade or more.

Initially, in 2023 testing, most crossover SUVs and cars performed poorly in the new test, which hadn’t been updated since it was introduced in 1995.  

The IIHS regularly toughens its safety criteria as more automakers’ vehicles come under compliance, making it more dynamic than the five-star NCAP assessment overseen by the NHTSA. The IIHS raised the safety bar in 2023 by changing the side-impact test from a strike barrier weighing 3,300 pounds, as it had since 2003, to a 4,180-pound barrier. The average weight of an SUV has increased 1,000 pounds to 4,600 pounds in the two decades since the test’s last update, according to the IIHS.

The 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 protected rear passengers well, while the dummies in the second row of the Santa Fe had a “somewhat higher” risk of injury to the head, neck, or chest. The “Marginal” rating was still better than most three-row crossovers that have been tested under the new criteria, however. 

The Sonata’s “Poor” rating arose from a “high probability of injuries” to the head, neck, or chest area of a rear-seat occupant. 

All three Hyundais tested performed exceptionally in other crash tests, headlight tests, and driver-assist system tests. 

The IIHS’s tests for advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) measure the efficacy of automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection. To address a spike in pedestrian fatalities, last year the IIHS started testing how ADAS systems can mitigate or avoid collisions with pedestrians in separate daytime and nighttime tests. The revised test for 2024 requires TSP winners to earn “Acceptable” or top “Good” ratings in the combined day and night test. 

Last week, the IIHS released the results of new AEB tests consisting of emergency stopping at higher speeds to avoid impacts with cars, motorcycles, and semi trailers. 

The Santa Fe and Sonata earned “Good” ratings for pedestrian avoidance, while the Ioniq 5 earned an “Acceptable” rating. 

For a complete list of 2024 Top Safety Pick winners, visit the IIHS