The 2023 Hyundai Sonata Fails in Latest IIHS Safety Tests

The new one knocked out safety ratings for many models, and now its name can be added to the list. While still rated in the IIHS Top Safety Pick category, the flagship Hyundai sedan lost its Top Safety Pick Plus rating thanks to updated crash-test criteria. See both where the Sonata falls short and where the full-size Korean sedan still performs well.

2023 Hyundai Sonata N Line | Hyundai

Side crash tests reveal safety issues with the 2023 Hyundai Sonata

Like so many other models, our updated side crash test saw the 2023 Sonata’s safety rating drop from the highest possible score.

It only received an “Acceptable” rating in its most recent exam, down from “Good” in previous years

Updated side impact testing has changed ratings for many models

Interior design of the 2023 Hyundai Sonata

As bad as this news may sound, they are not alone. Safety ratings are changing across the board due to new side impact testing standards introduced in 2023. The new sled is 1,000 pounds heavier and travels 12 mph faster than in years past, reflecting the higher speeds and weights of modern vehicles.

Even longtime safety giants like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry have seen their safety ratings drop, though the Sonata does fall short in more areas than these competitors.

The Hyundai Sonata performs well in safety tests

While the Sonata’s side-impact safety rating took a big hit, Hyundai’s largest sedan still performs well in most other areas.

In both front and rear impacts, the Sonata earns the highest safety ratings across the board, protecting all occupants with airbags and a robust safety cell.

The Hyundai flagship’s advanced driver assistance systems work well, too. In tests up to 25 mph, the Sonata is able to avoid collisions with parked vehicles on the road ahead. The same goes for pedestrian detection and braking, as the Sonata can avoid collisions at up to 37 mph.

Hyundai headlights fall short

An exterior promotional photo of a red 2023 Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan
2022 Hyundai Sonata | Hyundai Motor America
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The IIHS has high standards for headlights that some models can meet, but the Sonata’s basic headlights are particularly bad. Earning only “marginal” scores with noticeable glare in almost every scenario, Hyundai’s front lighting system is a pain point when compared to competitors.

The car seat attachments are a hit on the Sonata. The lower tethers are hard to find buried deep in the rear seat, and the middle position has fewer tethers than the higher-rated models.

Overall, the Sonata is still a good safety bet

While the 2023 Hyundai Sonata’s low safety scores are disappointing, overall the car still performs well. We’re ready to give brands the benefit of the doubt in the first year of our updated IIHS exam. We expect everyone to go back to the drawing board with the goal of achieving better results now that the new standards are known.

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