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Hyundai is known for its dependable vehicles, with the 2021 Hyundai Elantra becoming one of its most recent models to earn a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS. Let’s explore what it means to be a Top Safety Pick, and what you can expect if you purchase a 2021 Elantra.

How does a vehicle earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick award?

The IIHS completes two annual safety evaluations: Top Safety Pick, and Top Safety Pick+. The Top Safety Pick award has existed since 2006, but the Top Safety Pick+ award was added more recently, in 2013.

The goal of these awards is to identify the safest vehicles each year, with particular emphasis placed on front crash prevention. It is important to note that the vehicles are divided into categories according to size. The IIHS points out that larger vehicles will still typically provide more protection than smaller ones, stating, “A small car that qualified for an award might not protect its occupants as well as a bigger vehicle that doesn’t earn the award.”

In order to qualify for the 2021 Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must earn Good ratings in six major evaluations, including roof strength and driver’s side small overlap front. It must also earn either an Advanced or Superior rating for its available front crash prevention options. Finally, it must offer headlights that earn a rating of Acceptable or Good.

The Top Safety Pick+ award has identical requirements, with one change: the vehicle must come standard with headlights that earn an Acceptable or Good rating.

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra’s IIHS award

A blue Hyundai Elantra car is on display during the 19th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra | VCG/VCG via Getty Images

According to the IIHS, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra met all the requirements to qualify for the Top Safety Pick award, as long as it is equipped with the headlights found on the Limited trim. Notably, this is just one of the Hyundai vehicles to earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick award for 2021. Hyundai states that it now offers nine different models that have earned either Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ awards from the IIHS. 

The other Hyundai vehicles to win these awards include the Veloster, the Kona, and the Santa Fe. Both the Palisade and the Nexo earned the Top Safety Pick+ award. 

What will you get with the Hyundai Elantra?

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra starts at $19,650. It comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 147 hp. It gets 33 miles per gallon in the city and 43 miles per gallon on the highway for a combined 37 miles per gallon.

Standard convenience features for the Elantra include solar glass, Bluetooth voice recognition, and remote keyless entry. Standard safety features include forward collision avoidance assistance, blind spot warning, driver attention warning, and lane-keep assist. An 8-inch display also comes standard, as do Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

If you opt for the Limited trim — which has the headlights recommended by the IIHS — the starting price is $25,450. This trim offers several standard features that the base trim does not, including a power driver seat, heated front seats, dynamic voice recognition, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. 

The Limited trim also offers five standard safety features not found on the base trim. These are forward collision avoidance with pedestrian, cyclist, and junction turning detection; adaptive cruise control; reverse parking distance warning; reverse parking collision avoidance assist; and highway drive assist.

Overall, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra offers an abundance of safety features, as well as excellent crash test ratings. If you are looking for a dependable sedan, this vehicle should definitely be on your list.


IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+: What Do They Actually Mean?