Photo of small overlap front driver side crash test courtesy of IIHS.

Photo of small overlap front driver side crash test courtesy of IIHS.

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest award, the Top Safety Pick+, when the compact car is equipped with optional front crash prevention and good-rated headlights.

The 2018 Elantra earned the award after achieving an acceptable rating in the new passenger-side small overlap front crash test. The acceptable rating applies only to Elantras built after December when the manufacturer made specific upgrades to the door-hinge pillar and door sill to improve protection.

Criteria for capturing a 2018 Top Safety Pick+ award include a good rating in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests; an acceptable or good rating in the passenger-side small overlap test; an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention; and a good headlight rating.

After the Elantra underwent its most recent passenger-side test, measures taken from the dummy indicated a low risk of injuries in a crash of the same severity. While the dummy’s head contacted the front airbag, it slid off toward the right, leaving the head at risk of striking a forward structure. The side curtain airbag deployed and provided sufficient coverage to protect the head from contact with side structure and outside objects. The passenger space was maintained reasonably well, with maximum intrusion of 7 inches at the lower door-hinge pillar.

The Elantra's optional front crash prevention system earns a superior rating. In IIHS track tests at 12 mph, the vehicle avoided a collision. In 25-mph track tests, the impact speed was reduced by an average of 22 mph. The system also includes a forward collision warning component that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.

The Elantra's optional high-intensity discharge headlights earned a good rating. They include high-beam assist, a feature that automatically switches between high beams and low beams depending on the presence of other vehicles. The standard halogen lights earn a poor rating.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet