The all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)—indicating that it's among the safest mid-size sedan choices on the market.
Beginning with 2010, it became tougher than before to get the much-vaunted bragging right, as the Institute added a top score in its new roof-strength (rollover) test as a new requirement—that's in addition to top 'good' scores for frontal offset and side crash tests plus the seat-based rear-impact test. Top Safety Picks also need to have electronic stability control.
The new IIHS roof-strength test requires that they withstand more than double the current federal standard. Tougher U.S. standards that roughly parallel the test requirements are in the works won't go into full effect until 2016.
It's a significant improvement, as the previous generation Sonata carried 'good' ratings for frontal and rear impact, 'acceptable' for side impact, and just 'marginal' in rollover.
The Sonata has been completely redesigned for 2011, with a new four-cylinder-only powertrain, 35-mpg highway ratings, and improved refinement.
Standard safety features on the Sonata include—in addition to electronic stability control—seat-mounted side-impact airbags, front and rear side-curtain bags, front-seat active head restraints, and anti-lock brakes with brake assist.
2011 Hyundai SonataEnlarge Photo