The 2018 Hyundai Elantra has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s top honor in crashworthiness.
No, that doesn’t mean that the IIHS thinks that all Elantra’s should be crashed. It actually means that the Elantra is one of the best cars to find yourself in a bad car crash if you were so unfortunate to get into one. The 2018 version of the Elantra now has a “Top Safety Pick+” rating from the IIHS, which means that if you had to crash, the Elantra is one of the few cars you should do it in.
The Elantra now joins only five other small cars to achieve the Top Safety Pick+ rating, along with the Kia Soul, Kia Forte, Subaru Impreza, and the Subaru WRX.
Achieving the highest IIHS rating is no simple feat. In order to achieve Top Safety Pick+, according to the IIHS statement, "vehicles must earn 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."
The amount of torture subjected to the Elantra's crash test dummy certainly sounds Herculean, but the IIHS insists that all the car's various airbags and safety features would give a human passenger "a low risk of injuries in a crash." Which is exactly the kind of risk everyone wants in a crash.
Well, preferably no risk of crashing, but you know.
Hyundai has been running away with awards from the IIHS in recent years. The Korean manufacturer has four cars in the coveted Top Safety Pick+ category, including the Sonata, Santa Fe, and Santa Fe Sport (which is apparently different enough from a regular Santa Fe to be considered an entirely new SUV—who knew?).
In the second place Top Safety Pick category Hyundai has another five cars, including the Ioniq Hybrid, Elantra, Elantra GT, Sonata, and Tucson, but only when equipped with front crash prevention and the upgraded headlights, otherwise the Tucson doesn’t even rate on the IIHS website.