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

Hyundai's midsize SUVs received top safety ratings while Dodge scored much lower. Safety features can reduce your car insurance rates by up to 8%.

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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...

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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...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • The IIHS analyzed safety ratings for two Dodge midsize SUVs and two Hyundai models in this class in 2017
  • While some of the midsize SUV models analyzed by the IIHS in 2017 had very high ratings in most safety test areas, others had numerous poor ratings in a few of the test areas
  • Safety test results can help buyers to choose a vehicle that is safer overall, and safer vehicles could potentially be more affordable to insure

Dodge is one of the oldest automakers in the country, and it manufactures two vehicles currently that fall into the midsize SUV vehicle class.

Between the decades of established history and the incredible reputation of Dodge, you may assume that the Dodge SUVs would have excellent safety ratings.

The overall size of both Dodge and Hyundai SUV could also create a false sense of security as you take your test drives at local dealerships.

However, many safety test assumptions that you may have about the Dodge and Hyundai SUV models may be debunked when you take a closer look at the IIHS, or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety / Highway Loss Data Institute, safety test scores.

To be truly safe in all areas, a vehicle should have easy-to-use safety features. The safety features should be designed to avoid or reduce the likelihood of an accident, and they should also enable maximum safety and security of all passengers in the car.

As you compare the two Dodge models in the midsize SUV class against the two Hyundai models in this class, you may learn important information that could help to steer you into making a more informed SUV buying decision.

Compare car insurance quotes, as well, to see the difference in price between these models. Enter your zip code above to get started.

Comparing the Dodge and Hyundai Safety Test Results

For the almost two dozen vehicles in the midsize SUV class, the IIHS conducted a total of eight unique safety tests on most models, and these eight distinctive tests focused on three primary safety categories.

You may be trying to decide whether to buy a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, a Hyundai Santa Fe, a Dodge Journey, or a Dodge Durango.

A critical component of the IIHS safety tests involves determining how well a specific model may keep its occupants safe from harm in a crash situation, and this is explored through five unique safety tests that fall under the Crashworthiness umbrella.

Some 2017 midsize SUV models have an improved ability to avoid or even to mitigate accidents in different ways, and this safety area is analyzed under the Crash Avoidance and Mitigation umbrella.

Installing car seats to the child seat anchors in your vehicle properly is necessary when driving with younger children in the vehicle with you, and the LATCH safety test examines how simplified the LATCH function is.

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How the Safety Tests Are Rated By the IIHS

As you examine the IIHS safety test results for each of these four midsize SUVs more closely, you may notice that each test gives a vehicle a possible rating of:

  • Good
  • Average
  • Moderate
  • Poor

There is a single difference in the test results ratings, and this falls under the Front Crash Prevention safety category. The rating system for this test group yields these possible results:

  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

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Exploring the Five Crashworthiness Test Results

The Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport have “good” test results in each of these five tests areas, which include Front Small Overlap, Moderate Overlap, Head Restraints and Seat, Roof Strength, and Side.

For the Front Small Overlap test, the 2017 Durango had a “marginal” score, and the Journey had a “poor” score. For the other four Crashworthiness safety categories, the two Dodge models had a “good” rating.

Reviewing the Results of the Two Crash Avoidance and Mitigation Tests

This category features two unique safety tests and these are the Headlights test and the Front Crash Prevention test. For the Headlights safety test in 2017, the Santa Fe boasted a “good” rating, and the Durango had a “marginal” score.

The Santa Fe Plus and the Journey, on the other hand, were given a “poor” grade for this tested area.

A “superior” grade was extended to the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport models in 2017 for the Front Crash Prevention test, and the Durango received a “basic” grade. The Dodge Journey for 2017 was not analyzed for this safety test category.

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Examining Ease of Use for Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

A primary goal for parents and others is to keep little ones as safe as possible behind the wheel. While the Journey was given a LATCH grade of “marginal,” the other three vehicles discussed here earned an “average” rating in this area.

Two Top Honors from the IIHS for Great Safety Test Results

Analyzing each individual safety test result for these two Dodge and two Hyundai SUVs is one way to determine which vehicle is safest to drive, but another great option is to look at the recipients of the 2017 Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards.

The IIHS has given the 2017 Santa Fe Sport the Top Safety Pick award because of its “good” test results in all Crashworthiness areas and its higher ratings in the Front Crash Prevention category.

The Santa Fe was given the Top Safety Pick+ award because it achieved these accomplishments, and it also had a positive Headlights rating. The two Dodge SUV models in this vehicle class did not receive a safety award from the IIHS this year.

As you can see, there are multiple safety factors to review, and each vehicle has individualized ratings in each area. Overall, the Hyundai Santa Fe had the best safety test results in its class, and the Santa Fe Sport was also highly rated in this area.

The Dodge Journey and Durango were unfortunately ranked much lower overall in the area of safety.

Remember the Importance of Auto Insurance for Your New Vehicle

Even the safest SUVs can be involved in an accident at any time, and you need to shop around for insurance rates right away so that your vehicle is properly insured at all times.

In fact, you may even request insurance quotes for your top two or three SUV picks so that you can see which one qualifies for the most affordable insurance rates before you make a purchase. Enter your zip code below to compare quotes today.

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