Hyundai’s 2020 Kona, Santa Fe and Tucson SUVs all earned the best possible five-star safety rating in evaluations for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.
The three Hyundais also have standard, or as options, all four of NHTSA’s recommended safety technologies. NHTSA recommends forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a backup camera and automatic emergency braking. It notes whether a vehicle has these available, though the presence of any or all of the features isn’t counted as part of the overall star rating.
NHTSA conducts three different types of crash tests before giving a vehicle an overall score. It measures a vehicle’s frontal- and side-crash performance as well as its resistance to rolling over. The frontal-crash test is a simulated 35-mph head-on crash into another vehicle, while the side-crash test is really two tests: a simulation of a T-bone crash of another vehicle into the test vehicle, and a simulation of the test vehicle “sliding off the road” and hitting a utility pole just in front of the driver’s door. Rollover testing is based on a static calculation of how prone a vehicle is to roll over during an evasive maneuver.
In these individual tests on the way to their overall top scores, the 2020 Kona and Tucson both scored five stars in front- and side-crash testing, and four stars for rollover resistance. The Santa Fe got five stars in the side-crash tests and four stars for front-crash and rollover evaluations.
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None of the Hyundai SUV trio has yet been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for the 2020 model year. However, the 2019 Kona, Santa Fe and Tucson all received the highest possible Top Safety Pick Plus designation from the insurance-industry-backed auto-safety advocacy group.
For more details on NHTSA crash testing or to see star ratings for specific vehicles, head to nhtsa.gov.
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