The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the 2017 Santa Fe Sport the Top Safety Pick+ award.

For the 2017 model year, Hyundai has made some upgrades to the midsize SUV’s occupant compartment, allowing the revised Santa Fe Sport to be bumped from a marginal to a good rating in the small overlap front test. The last time it was tested, IIHS noticed an intrusion of as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) at the lower door hinge pillar, so the SUV’s structure failed to hold up during the small overlap test.

The good news is the 2017 model year showed a maximum intrusion of just 3 inches (7 centimeters) at the footrest, making the Santa Fe Sport considerably safer in case of an unfortunate crash. During IIHS’ small overlap test, the movement of the dummy was well-controlled and its head remained on the front airbag until rebound.

The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport already had good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. After being upgraded from a marginal to a good rating in the small overlap front test, the South Korean midsize SUV has earned the Top Safety Pick+ award which requires that a vehicle must obtain a good rating in all these tests.

In addition, to qualify for this award, the tested car must feature a front crash prevention system which has to earn an advanced or superior rating from IIHS. The one in the 2017 Santa Fe Sport grabbed a superior rating after the tests conducted at 12 mph (19 kph) and 25 mph (40 kph) showed the SUV was able to avoid collisions. On top of that, the system came with a built-in forward collision warning component meeting the criteria established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

As a final note, IIHS mentions the good small overlap rating and the Top Safety Pick+ award is only for the 2017 Santa Fe Sport, meaning that it does not apply to the bigger 2017 Santa Fe.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Gallery: Hyundai beefs up Santa Fe Sport, earns Top Safety Pick+ rating