In early 2021, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) listed 90 vehicles that qualified for either a Top Safety Pick, or Top Safety Pick+ award. The Hyundai Elantra sedan and Santa Fe SUV for 2021 weren't included on that initial list, but both models now earn the second-highest IIHS award, the Top Safety Pick. However, that honor is dependent on LED headlights being part of the package.
For the 2021 Santa Fe, that should be a non-issue. All five trims of the SUV include LED headlights as standard equipment, with projector-style LEDs standard on the Limited, Calligraphy, and range-topping Calligraphy 2.5T AWD models. It's a different story for the Elantra, as LED headlights are only available on the Limited trim level, which serves as the flagship for the Elantra lineup. The lamps aren't even optional add-ons for the N Line, SEL, or the base-model SE, meaning the only way to get a new Elantra with the Top Safety Pick rating is to spend $25,450 for the Limited. At that price, the LED lights are at least standard equipment.
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"These top ratings prove our commitment to safety," said Brian Latouf, chief safety officer for Hyundai Motor North America. "Being an industry leader in safety and IIHS accolades is foundational to our brand, and we continually strive to provide outstanding passenger safety to our customers."
With the latest awards, Hyundai currently offers nine vehicles that earn either a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award, though as previously mentioned, not all trim levels qualify. In addition to good or acceptable headlight ratings, vehicles must earn good ratings in all IIHS crash tests while also being available with front crash prevention tech that ranks advanced or superior for occupants and pedestrians.
The Elantra and Santa Fe are significantly updated for 2021, with fresh styling and updated technology found throughout each model range.