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Tiny 2019 Hyundai Veloster Shows Up Big in Safety Ratings

2019 Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai’s redesigned 2019 Veloster may be small, but it has mighty safety scores. The 2019 Veloster earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick award, the agency’s second-highest designation.

Related: Is the 2019 Hyundai Veloster the Most Fun You Can Have for $24,000?

The Veloster earned good ratings (out of good, acceptable, marginal or poor) in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head-restraint tests, as well as a good rating in the tough new passenger-side small overlap front test. In addition, the hatchback’s standard front crash prevention system scored a superior rating (out of superior, advanced, basic or none) in IIHS’ crash-avoidance tests.

But the Veloster’s Top Safety Pick designation isn’t cut and dried. To earn a Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must also earn a good or acceptable rating in headlight tests, which is where things start to get complicated. Only Veloster models with specific headlights — those on the uplevel Turbo, Turbo Ultimate and Turbo R-Spec trims built after August 2018 — qualify. (You can usually find the month of manufacture on a sticker in the driver’s doorsill.)

“Earlier models created excessive glare for oncoming drivers and earn a poor rating. The Veloster’s base headlights also earn a poor rating,” IIHS said in its test results.

A good headlight score is required for the Top Safety Pick Plus award, the agency’s highest designation. Since the Veloster earned an acceptable rating, it only gets a Top Safety Pick (no “Plus”).

To further complicate the scores, an issue with the Veloster’s unconventional door setup also proved to be a problem. It has two conventionally hinged doors on the passenger side and only one door on the driver’s side. The driver’s door opened during side-impact crash tests, which could lead to occupant ejection, IIHS said. Hyundai remedied the issue in Veloster models built after January 2019, and the door stayed shut in a second test. The automaker has issued a recall for cars produced before the change.

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