With the new model year upon automakers, each one is faced with some uncertainty.
That's because both of the major crash-testing agencies--the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the insurance industry-funded Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)--have changed the way they compile their overall crash-test ratings.
Based on new roof-crush data, the IIHS says the Tucson earns its Top Safety Pick award. The NHTSA? It hasn't completed its tests, so the crossover is yet unrated.
In terms of safety gear, the 2011 Tucson covers all the usual bases. Dual front side and curtain airbags are standard, as are anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control. Hill descent control is also standard, along with brake assist, tire pressure monitors, and active headrests.
The Tucson offers drivers good all-around visibility, save for some spots at the rear quarters, where the Tucson's dramatic roofline meets its tailgate.