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The IIHS revealed that a lot of Honda, Mazda, and Toyota models are Top Safety Pick winners for 2023. For many auto enthusiasts, the Hyundai nameplate is synonymous with reliability and great advanced safety features. That’s why we’re surprised that only a few Hyundai models made the list this year. Here’s why the Hyundai Palisade is one of the safest SUVs around.

Front angle view of gray 2023 Hyundai Palisade midsize SUV
2023 Hyundai Palisade | Hyundai

Why did the 2023 Hyundai Palisade earn a Top Safety Pick+ award?

A Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ winner needs to have at least a ‘Good’ rating in every major crashworthiness test. Their advanced collision-avoidance technology needs to earn an Advanced or Superior rating, says U.S. News.

Headlights and collision mitigation scores are the main differentiators between the two award categories. Whether it’s preventing a collision between itself and another vehicle or pedestrian, the car has to have an Advanced score at minimum. The standard headlights also must be ‘Acceptable’ or ‘Good’. Top Safety Pick cars can get away with Marginal headlight ratings.

The Hyundai Palisade got ‘Good’ scores in each crashworthiness examination except the updated moderate front overlap test. In the original version of this test, the car is accelerated against an aluminum barrier at 40 mph. This one only requires a test dummy in the driver’s seat, but the updated test adds an extra dummy passenger in the rear row.

The IIHS determined that the Palisade’s backseat riders are very likely to experience head or neck injuries in that scenario. Passenger thigh protection looks good, but chest protection is only Marginal. The Hyundai Palisade also earned merely Acceptable scores for its LATCH system and seatbelt reminders.

On the bright side, its front-crash prevention features earned Superior ratings. The 2023 Palisade’s pedestrian detection system (standard on the Limited and Calligraphy trims) can also detect cyclists, even around turns. Every Hyundai Palisade trim also has LED projector headlights with automatic high-beams.

In addition to crash-preventative aids, each Palisade trim has driver drowsiness warning and a few lane-keeping technology features. Some trims feature a standard adaptive suspension, which smooths out the ride quality and provides better visibility. When you can see more of the road ahead of you, you’ll have more time to prepare and respond to obstacles.

More reasons to like the 2023 Hyundai Palisade

Considering all the standard advanced safety features you’ll receive, the Hyundai Palisade SE is a bargain at $35,550. Every Palisade has a 291-hp V6 under its hood, which can be optioned with Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system. This system promises to continuously monitor vehicle inputs each second, allowing it to supply near-instant torque to any wheel that needs extra traction.

The Palisade offers spacious accommodations for up to eight riders. Heating is available for all three rows and the Calligraphy model comes with standard massaging front seats for the driver. Even on the base SE, drivers can take advantage of voice recognition controls and smartphone integration.

The 2023 Hyundai Sonata is a Top Safety Pick winner

The Hyundai Sonata earned ‘Good’ scores in most of its crashworthiness tests. It managed an ‘Acceptable’ rating for the updated side test, but both the rear passenger and driver dummy still had sufficient head protection.

The LED reflector headlights on the SE and SEL trims offer Marginal performance, but the available LED projector headlights received ‘Good’ ratings.

Every Hyundai Sonata’s safety suite includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. You also get Safe Exit Warning, which prevents passengers from opening the car door if there’s an obstacle approaching the vehicle from behind.

The Hyundai Sonata Limited has a few exclusive safety features, including blind-spot monitors and reverse collision warning. The Sonata is a sedan, so it will experience impacts with more force compared to the Hyundai Palisade. Still, both are shining examples of Hyundai’s commitment to passenger safety.


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