Hyundai is the IIHS Most Awarded Automaker So Far in 2024

Automotive designs and engineering are rapidly evolving, and new cars today look and perform differently than models from just a few years ago. That’s especially true for heavier, much quicker electric vehicles. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety updates its crash-testing criteria to account for the changes, which can often result in poorer scores in some categories.


Hyundai Motor Group bucked that trend in early testing this year, earning six Top Safety Pick + designations, the IIHS’ highest award, making it the most awarded automaker so far.

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These Vehicles Just Lost Their Top Safety Pick Rating

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has updated its crash testing processes and hardware in recent years to account for new safety technologies, as well as the fact that people can walk in and buy new EVs that can weigh as much as two or three comparable gas vehicles combined. The most significant update for 2023 relates to the IIHS’ side crash test, but there are several other changes that have drastically reduced the number of vehicles that qualify for a Top Safety Pick award. 

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Safety Dance: Japanese Brands Score Big in IIHS Tests

Workers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are perpetually refining the tests they hurl at new cars, finding new and creative ways to bend metal and shatter glass. This is important since it is not unheard of for a manufacturer to quickly respond with alterations to their machines after flunking a new IIHS test.


This annum, armed with fresh checklists for side impact protection and headlight performance – along with the other requirements of past years – the IIHS found fewer vehicles qualified for their top awards. Brands leading the way now include Mazda, Toyota, and Honda. 

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Ford Bronco Doesn't Ace Safety Tests

While the full-size Bronco might be one of the hottest games in town, its performance in some key safety measures failed to wholly impress the IIHS crash test dummies. Their major beefs? Headlights and whiplash.

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2021 Nissan Rogue Becomes Perfect SUV for People With Thrill-Seeking Friends

The 2021 Nissan Rogue has bombed the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s front passenger-side crash test with a score of two stars. Since we’re not using the Michelin Guide, this is a stain on the freshly pressed slacks Nissan has put on as part of its all-important restructuring strategy.

The automaker has been shedding weight, dropping products, and losing employees in the name of profit. But it also has to restore public faith in a brand that has been caught in numerous quality control scandals and some ugly corporate infighting over the last few years. A crummy score on a crash test isn’t going to help, even if it does help spice up an otherwise bland vehicle segment. But let’s not overcook the eggs. There is a lot to unpack here before we jump on the bandwagon of calling it a cursed model.

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2019 Tesla Model 3 Crashes Like a Dream, IIHS Says

Tesla scored its first big win with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) this week after the group graced the 2019 Model 3 with its coveted Top Safety Pick+ award. “Vehicles with alternative powertrains have come into their own,” IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby said. “There’s no need to trade away safety for a lower carbon footprint when choosing a vehicle.”

The Audi e-Tron and hydrogen-powered Hyundai Nexo also qualified. But Tesla’s position as North America’s electric vehicle sales leader is held by a wide margin, making its crash-test results a tad more noteworthy.

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Bang & Blame: GM Making Running Safety Updates to Terrain, Equinox

The second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal,” which is news to me, since I most definitely am not equal to Fernando Alonso in terms of driving skill, for example, although I am pretty adept at lounging in a camping chair.

One item that is most definitely not created equal is the Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain twins. A running change being implemented on the production lines means some of the GM trucklets are safer than others.

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Piston Slap: An LSX-FTW Christmas Wish, Revoked?

Woody writes:

Hi Sanjeev,

My wife complains that I don’t even notice when she doesn’t shave her legs; yet every time I say something about it, she complains at me about how she has no time because of kids, school, dinner, etc. Help a guy out. (You’re on your own with that, son! — SM)

No, really. Hi Sajeev — I’ll start out with the problem. I have an 2001 Astro van. As much as I love my cult classic, my Chevy box is starting to get tired. I need 8 seats (yes, I have been busy) and the ability to tow.

Before everybody suggests I go grab a Suburban or Tahoe (no sliding door), I’d like to pose a hypothetical. As only van drivers can understand, I like my current vehicle. With tax returns right around the corner (seven dependents … $$$), I’d like to get your opinion on some frivolous spending. The 4.3-liter Vortec V6 is not a bad motor. With a little effort I can strap a turbo on it and perform the various tuning tweaks needed to get it running tip top (timing change, higher PSI injectors).

Or, I could shoehorn a 5.3-liter in there. It will match up with the existing 4L60e (that will probably blow up under the added stress — SM) transmission, has great stock horsepower and torque, and you can pick one up at the junkyard with the computer for $310 ($275 for the motor + $35 for the ECM at LKQ in Central Florida) I know the the price of labor will probably cost more than either one of these kits. I am a fairly competent shadetree, which might help offset some of the cost. You have to be to keep one of these things going this long.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY.

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Zero Stars: Watch These Indian-Market Cars Prove What Death Traps They Are

Three versions of a Renault hatchback spectacularly failed their frontal crash tests in India, earning them zero out of five stars, even with an available airbag.

It’s food for thought for the 125,000 Indian buyers who placed orders for the subcompact coffin, but the Renault Kwid isn’t alone in flunking Global NCAP testing in that car-hungry country.

The Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon also failed to earn a single star, reports Business Standard.

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While You Were Sleeping: Audi RS3 Sedan, Toyota HiLux Reveal and Cameras Are Everywhere

Looking south of the A4 in Audi’s current range of motors, the hottest vehicle in its North American lineup is the current S3. Those of us west of the Atlantic don’t get to enjoy the turbocharged five-pot RS3 Sportback. Thankfully, Theophilus Chin is on the scene to digitally imagine our Ingolstadt desires with this compromise – the RS3 sedan.

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New Round of IIHS Small Offset Tests a Mixed Bag

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released the results of its latest round of small offset crash tests. This latest group of twelve cars posted a wide range of scores, highlighting the challenging nature of the Institute’s newest test. Only one car earned a “Good” rating from the Institute for this test, with several receiving the lowest score of “Poor.”

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Is It Time To Demand Better Performance On Overlap Crash Tests?

The 2013 Toyota RAV4, which underwent a major redesign earlier this year, was saddled with a “Poor” rating in the IIHS’ “small overlap” front crash test, the lowest designation possible.

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Suzuki Death Watch 15: Kizashi Bests Camry In A Bittersweet Final Victory

Kizashi Beats Camry! No, it’s not a reprise of Dewey Beats Truman, but the Suzuki Kizashi landed a parting shot against mid-size kingpin the Toyota Camry, soundly beating it in the latest round of IIHS crash testing.

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The Fix Is In As GM Makes Changes To Volt After NHTSA Investigation

General Motors announced changes to the Chevrolet Volt’s design after a NHTSA investigation into why a Volt caught fire following crash testing.

The changes will go into effect once production restarts at the Hamtramck, Michigan facility, but customer cars already sold will follow a different protocol.

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Are You Safer In A Geely Emgrand, A Fiat Panda, A Jeep Grand Cherokee Or A Jaguar XF?

Ask a Westerner what he or she thinks of Chinese cars, and the answer will be predictable: unsafe. Thanks to China’s slower crash test speeds and low-cost manufacturing, Chinese cars have largely not met global safety standards, and Youtube videos have long cemented the impression that Chinese cars are fundamentally unsafe. But as with any growing industry, the Chinese are stepping their game up. Far from a global embarrassment, the latest Geely Emgrand even earned four stars in Euro-NCAP testing. That’s not enough to erase China’s reputation for unsafe cars, as five star performances are rapidly becoming the standard in Europe. But it is enough to match the achievements of other modern European cars, most notably the updated Fiat Panda. Though the Panda is considerably smaller than the Emgrand, and therefore is at something of a safety disadvantage, the price difference between the two cars is likely to be negligible, making the comparison quite interesting. Meanwhile, there are other four-star (or should we call it “Chinese Quality”?) cars in NCAP’s latest round of testing, including the considerably more expensive Jaguar XF and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Check out the reports for the XF, Panda and Emgrand in the gallery below, or surf on over to Autobild for more details on where these cars came up short on safety…

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