Is Hyundai’s safety rating for midsize SUVs better than Chevy’s?

Hyundai's midsize SUV received a top safety rating while Chevy scored low by comparison. Safety upgrades may lower your car insurance rates by up to 8%.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

Full Bio →

Written by

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top car companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • The IIHS reviewed two Hyundai midsize SUVs in 2017, and it reviewed one Chevrolet model
  • The two Hyundai SUVs in the midsize vehicle class have both been honored with the IIHS Top Safety Pick title in 2017
  • The Chevrolet midsize SUV was not rated in one IIHS safety category, and it received lower ratings in two other categories

Many SUV buyers who are in the market for a 2017 midsize model are carefully examining the Chevrolet Equinox as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport.

These are large, roomy SUVs that are designed to make you feel comfortable and relaxed behind the wheel. Because of their size and how well-designed they are, it is easy to feel secure on the road.

When you spend a time analyzing the safety test results that have been published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), you will notice that there is considerable variation among test results for the Hyundai models and the Chevrolet model.

Regardless of whether you plan to use your new midsize SUV as a family vehicle, for commuting purposes, or for other activities, it is important to find a vehicle that is truly safe for you to drive in.

Some vehicles offer greater protection of passengers, and some can even deter accidents altogether. Safer vehicles that have great safety statistics and test results may even qualify for a lower auto insurance premium.

You can see that there are numerous reasons for you to examine the safety test results for 2017 that have been released by the IIHS.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the best rate for the coverage you need no matter which vehicle you choose.

Exploring the IIHS Safety Tests for the Chevrolet and Two Hyundai Midsize SUVs

There are almost two dozen vehicles in the midsize SUV class, but the two Hyundai models and the Chevrolet Equinox may be at the top of your list of SUVs to consider because of their quality, value, and overall style.

For these three vehicles and other midsize SUVs in this class, the IIHS has completed eight distinctive safety test results, and it has clustered these tests into three categories.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

The Meaning of the IIHS Safety Test Results

The vehicle that you drive may affect whether you are injured in a collision or how serious your injuries are. The five safety tests in the IIHS Crashworthiness group explore this in greater detail.

Vehicles can also play a role in your ability to avoid crashes as well as how severe the damage may be if you are in a collision, and this is a factor that is reviewed under the two tests in the Crash Avoidance and Mitigation category.

The final safety test that the IIHS conducted on these midsize SUVs is the child seat anchor LATCH test, which gives you a better idea of how easy it may be for you to attach child car seats to the anchors or latches in your vehicle.

Rather than provided confusing, detailed information about the results of each of these tests, the results of the tests have been provided with a scoring system as follows:

  • “poor”
  • “marginal”
  • “acceptable”
  • “good”

However, one of the tests uses a different scoring system that ranges as follows:

  • “basic”
  • “advanced”
  • “superior”

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What the Five Crashworthiness Tests Tell You

The safety tests under Crashworthiness include Front Small Overlap, Side, Front Moderate Overlap, Head Restraints and Seats, and Roof Strength. The Chevrolet Equinox, the Hyundai Santa Fe, and the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport all had a “good” score for each of these tests.

Analyzing the Test Results for Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

The two tests reviewed in this category are Front Crash Prevention and Headlights. The Equinox had a “basic” rating in the Front Crash Prevention area, and the Hyundai SUVs both had an “advanced” rating.

The Santa Fe received a score of “good” for Headlights, the Santa Fe Sport had a “poor” score, and the Equinox was not rated for Headlights.

How Easy the Child Seat Anchors (LATCH) Are to Use

An “average” LATCH grade was given to each of these three midsize SUV models. While this is not the highest rating possible in this category, it is respectable and on the higher end of the spectrum.

2017 Top Safety Pick and/or 2017 Top Safety Pick+

When trying to analyze the meaning of the IIHS test results, it may be easier to determine which vehicles are safer to drive by looking at the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards from the IIHS.

To qualify for both of these awards, the vehicle must have received “good” scores for each of the five tests under Crashworthiness and higher scores for the Front Crash Prevention test area.

The Top Safety Pick+ award also has the additional requirement of having a higher Headlights grade.

The Hyundai Santa Fe for 2017 received the title of Top Safety Pick+, and it notable ranked at the top of the safety list published by the IIHS.

The Santa Fe Sport was also honored with the Top Safety Pick award for 2017. The Equinox did not receive any special titles or honors from the IIHS related to safety.

Is Hyundai safer than Chevrolet in 2017 for midsize SUVs?

If your goal is to find a vehicle that is safer for you to buy and drive, the Santa Fe is an excellent option because it has the best IIHS safety ratings in its class.

However, the Santa Fe Sport has all of the same safety ratings that the Santa Fe has except in the LATCH test area. The Equinox fell short in the Front Crash Prevention safety test, and it did not receive a grade for the Headlights area.

While safety should be a prime concern when you are buying a new SUV, you also need to confirm that the vehicle you select today will be affordable for you to drive over the course of the next few years or longer. 

Safety ratings can be analyzed by auto insurance providers when you request a premium quote, but other factors are also analyzed.

Because so many factors are reviewed for each insurance quote, it is important to carefully review several unique insurance quotes from different providers before you make your ultimate buying decision. Enter your zip code below to compare quotes today.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption