Trucks & SUVs

2021 Hyundai SUVs Are Among the Safest You Can Buy

An SUV driver likely has many family members to worry about while on the road, including small children. While there are many reliable SUVs on the current market, Hyundai SUV models make for some of the safest vehicles.

A Hyundai press release announced that six of the automaker’s SUVs were named Top Safety Picks by the IIHS. Three sedans, including the Hyundai Elantra, were also spotlighted by the IIHS for impeccable crash test scores. Here are the safest Hyundai SUVs you can buy right now.

The Hyundai Kona is a good place to start

The Hyundai Kona is a Top Safety Pick, meaning it got good scores in every crash test conducted by the IIHS. Top Safety Pick vehicles also have to have either advanced or superior scores for preventing frontal collisions. The base trim also has a few useful safety features included, plus an easy-to-master infotainment system.

The Kona also exhibits fun handling and an available turbocharged engine on the two highest trims. The rear seat is a little cramped by class standards, but it does have a relatively upscale cabin.

2021 Hyundai Tucson models earn Top Safety Pick designations

A customer wearing a protective mask sits inside a red Hyundai SUV – the Hyundai Tucson – on display at the company's Motorstudio showroom in Goyang, South Korea
The Hyundai Tucson | SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Another Top Safety Pick winner, the Tucson is a slightly larger compact SUV with a stronger base engine. While the interior is roomy for its size, it isn’t as nice as other Hyundai models. Still, it comes with plenty of convenience and safety features that make it a value at its price point. 

The Hyundai Tucson has two engine options, but neither of them seems to aid the SUV’s acceleration. Fortunately, it still has decent gas mileage, a comfortable ride, and surprisingly playful handling. The Tucson is also set to receive a redesign for the 2022 model year.

The Hyundai Venue doesn’t let its size compromise your safety

Like the Kona, the Hyundai Venue is a subcompact SUV that packs a lot of standard features for under $20,000. However, Consumer Reports cautions that the seats feel mushy and offer no long-term support. It also only has one engine choice, a tiny four-cylinder capable of 121 hp. 

As you can imagine, it’s not very quick, and the lack of available AWD also doesn’t make it very appealing. It makes up for its speed with fuel economy, rated for an impressive 30/33 mpg city/highway. Its short dimensions also make it easy to maneuver in crowded city streets.

The Hyundai Palisade is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+

RELATED: The 2021 Hyundai Palisade Only Fails to Beat 1 SUV on This U.S. News List

The Palisade is one of the two Top Safety Pick+ winners of Hyundai’s lineup. This designation’s criteria is similar to Top Safety Pick’s, but the Palisade’s award has an important distinction. These cars must have standard headlights with good or acceptable performance. 

The Hyundai Palisade has standard LED headlights, which are more efficient and reliable than halogen bulbs. This SUV also offers secure handling, a comfortable interior, and lots of standard driver aids.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is refreshed but still safe

The safe Santa Fe got a minor refresh for the 2021 model year, giving it completely new engine options. It now has a more powerful base motor and a hybrid powertrain, both of which provide a smooth driving experience. An extensive library of safety features is also newly standard, plus wireless smartphone integration.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is generally considered by critics to be a good value, even if the handling isn’t that exciting. According to Car and Driver, it’s also a full second quicker off the starting line than other midsize SUVs.

The fuel-cell powered Hyundai SUV

The Nexo also won a Top Safety Pick+ award, but this fuel-cell-powered SUV is slightly difficult to obtain. It’s only sold in California, where the majority of North America’s hydrogen fueling stations are located. It’s still an incredibly efficient crossover with a comfortable interior and impressive standard features, like a 12-inch infotainment screen.