The 2011 Sonata had already received a five star rating back in February, but now the vehicle withstood the agency’s more rigorous 2011 testing procedures.
"The Sonata nameplate has historically raised the bar for safety in the mid-size sedan category, dating back to the introduction of standard Electronic Stability Control on the 2006 Sonata," said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. "The 2011 Sonata furthers our commitment to safety with a suite of equipment and third-party test results that are unsurpassed in the category."
Sonata comes standard with six airbags; including dual front, front seat-mounted side-impact, and front and rear side curtain airbags, along with active front-seat head restraints. Other safety features include shingle-style rear-seat head restraints for improved visibility, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, front-seat seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters, and a rear-seat Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system for child seats. The car also comes with a high-strength steel structure.
As for the active safety, the vehicle comes in standard with features such as ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake-force distribution) and Brake Assist, which offers maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected.
The new NHTSA ratings now evaluate side pole crash testing, as well as consider crash-preventing technologies. In addition to that, the tests also use female dummies for the first time, simulating crash scenarios that involve women, not just men.