2016 Lincoln MKX and 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport earn top safety award from IIHS image

In the latest crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, both models have been awarded with Top Safety Pick+ rating.

The redesigned Lincoln MKX and the 2017 Santa Fe Sport earned good ratings in all five crashworthiness tests performed by IIHS, thus receiving the top rating. To qualify for Top Safety Pick+, a model also has to offer a front crash prevention system and both models do. The previous version of Lincoln’s midsize luxury SUV had good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations, but it was never put through the challenging small overlap test. Introduced in 2012, the test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle crashes with another car, a tree or pole.

The 2016 MKX performed very well at the overlap assessment, with maximum intrusion of 4 inches at the lower door hinge pillar, while the dummy’s movement was well-controlled, indicating a low risk of injuries in a real crash. The model’s optional front crash prevention system earned a perfect score in IIHS track tests, as it avoided a collision in both the 12 mph and 25 mph tests. It also has a forward collision warning component that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.

As for the 2017 Santa Fe Sport, it brought some safety structural improvements that raised its score from a marginal to a good rating in the small overlap front test. And, when fitted with the optional front crash prevention, the model is definitely a Top Safety Pick+ winner. Prior to the changes, the midsize SUV’s structure failed to hold up in the small overlap test, with a 10-inch intrusion at the lower door hinge pillar. The dummy’s head barely contacted the front airbag before sliding off, as the steering column was pushed to the right. In contrast, the 2017 version showed a maximum intrusion of 3 inches at the footrest, while the dummy was well-controlled, and the head stayed on the front airbag until it rebounded.