Hyundai changed the headlight design on its 2019 Tucson crossover SUV midway through the model year, earning high-trim versions of the small 'ute a Top Safety Pick+ award.
The upgraded accolade applies only to versions of the 2019 Hyundai Tucson built after March 2019. In re-testing, the IIHS rated the upgraded LED projector headlights "Good," which was the missing piece for the Tucson's Top Safety Pick+ award. To earn the highest honor, the IIHS requires vehicles to score "Good" marks in all crashworthiness tests, a "Superior" score for active safety technology, and a "Good" rating for headlights.
Previously, the crossover SUV already earned "Good" marks in all six crash test evaluations and a "Superior" rating for front-crash prevention with an optional system.
Models that Hyundai can specifically call a Top Safety Pick+ are the Ultimate, Sport, and Limited models. Each has LED projector headlights that scored top marks in IIHS testing, even though they do not a curve-adaptive feature. The Ultimate trim also gets high-beam assist. Models that do not earn the award are the volume sellers: the SE, SEL, and Value trims. They still sport halogen projector headlights the IIHS rates as "Poor." The Ultimate, Sport, and Limited models built before the headlight tweaks earned an "Acceptable" rating with their headlights, which was good enough for the standard Top Safety Pick award.
That makes the least expensive Tucson with the top-rated headlights the Sport trim, which starts at $28,745 before other options (such as AWD) and including a $1,045 destination charge.
In total, the Tucson makes 11 Hyundai models rated with a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+.