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

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

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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 completed safety tests of three midsize SUVs from Ford and two from Hyundai
  • Altogether, the two Hyundai SUVs reviewed by the IIHS had better overall safety ratings than the three Ford models had
  • The three Ford SUV models in this class had rather low rankings in multiple safety areas

Ford and Hyundai are among the more popular automakers today, and this is because of their overall innovation and exceptional design paired with wonderful quality in most vehicles.

If you are preparing to buy a midsize SUV, you may be aware that there are five incredible models to choose from that are made by these two reputable automakers.

Given the large size and comfortable amenities and features in midsize SUVs, many drivers are passengers feel completely at ease on the road.

However, before you make the assumption that most vehicles in this class have similar safety test results, you may want to review the actual test results that have been issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Safety test results completed by IIHS may tell you which vehicles are more likely to avoid or minimize the severity of accidents, and they can help you to determine which SUV models could better protect the driver and passengers in a collision situation.

Car insurance companies also analyze safety details and statistics for the purpose of determining your premium amount.

Because of how important safety test results are in various aspects of your ownership experience, now is a great time to examine the Ford and Hyundai safety test results for 2017 from the IIHS.

Compare car insurance rates between these two makes. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool to get started.

IIHS Safety Tests for the Ford SUVs Versus the Hyundai SUVs

With nearly two dozen midsize SUVs analyzed by the IIHS in 2017, you may understandably want to buy a stylish and affordable SUV that has exceptional safety ratings.

The Hyundai Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Sport are the two Hyundai models in this category. The Ford Edge, Flex, and Explorer are also included in this vehicle class’s test results.

For the Ford and Hyundai models as well as other vehicles in this class, you will discover that eight safety tests were completed by the IIHS, and these tests were lumped into three main categories for your improved understanding of the test results.

The safety tests are mostly rated as follows:

  • Good
  • Average
  • Moderate
  • Poor

While seven of the eight IIHS test categories had this rating, the Front Crash Prevention had a unique rating system. In this safety category, the possible grades for each vehicle are:

  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

Reviewing the Five Crashworthiness Tests

Staying safe in the event of a car accident is important, and the safety ratings for this aspect of the IIHS tests can be revealing.

This factor is analyzed through the five Crashworthiness tests, which include the Front Moderate Overlap, Roof Strength, Front Small Overlap, Side, and Head Restraint and Safety.

The two Hyundai SUVs in the midsize class received “good” scores across the board in all five of these test areas.

The Ford Flex and Edge had an “average” test result for the Front Small Overlap test, and they had a “good” score for all other tests in the Crashworthiness section.

The Explorer was not rated in the Head Restraints and Seat area, and it had a “marginal” Front Overlap test result. The remaining three categories in Crashworthiness had a “good” score for the Explorer.

Exploring the Two Crash Avoidance and Mitigation Tests

Examining the IIHS safety test results for midsize SUVs in 2017 requires a review of the two tests in the Crash Avoidance and Mitigation category, which include Headlights and Front Crash Prevention.

These safety tests can give you a better understanding of how well each vehicle could avoid being involved in accidents or could reduce their overall severity if an accident does occur.

In the Front Crash Prevention safety test, the Hyundai SUV models were given a “superior” score, and the three Ford SUV models had a “basic” rating. In the Headlights safety test, the Santa Fe was given a “good” safety test score.

On the other hand, the Santa Fe Sport, the Edge, and the Explorer had a “poor” score, and the Ford Flex was given a “marginal” score.

Analyzing the Child Seat Anchors (LATCH) Test

These five midsize SUV models from Hyundai and Ford are excellent family vehicles, and you can learn about how easy it is to secure your car seats in the backseat to keep kids safe through the child seat anchors LATCH safety test.

Each of these five SUV models had the same rating of “average” for the LATCH safety test category.

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

With results from eight IIHS safety tests each for five different vehicles to review, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and unable to make a firm decision about which of these vehicles may be safest to drive.

However, the IIHS has simplified this process by giving some of the SUVs with higher ratings an honor of either 2017 Top Safety Pick or 2017 Top Safety Pick+.

The Hyundai Santa Fe was awarded the title of 2017 Top Safety Pick+, which indicates great safety scores in the areas of Headlights, Crashworthiness, and Front Crash Prevention.

The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport was also honored in a similar way with the Top Safety Pick for 2017 nod. This is a lesser safety award than the Top Safety Pick+ award because it only requires high marks in the areas of Crashworthiness and Front Crash Prevention.

None of the three Ford SUVs reviewed in 2017 received these awards.

Is Hyundai safer than Ford in 2017 for midsize SUVs?

Because the two Hyundai models reviewed by the IIHS for the midsize SUV category in 2017 had special safety awards bestowed on them, you can see that these models are safer overall than the Ford vehicles in multiple categories.

Keep in mind, however, that the Santa Fe model in 2017 was ranked as the safest vehicle in this class overall.

Safety ratings should not be the sole factor that you base your buying decision on.

The overall cost of ownership and operation should also be analyzed, and this means that you must request multiple insurance quotes online today for the primary SUV models that you are thinking about buying.

When you make this additional effort, you can determine which vehicle may qualify for lower insurance rates overall. Get started comparing car insurance quotes right away by entering your zip code into our free rate tool below.

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