The Hyundai Tucson has been upgraded to a much-needed five-star ANCAP safety rating following recent validation of a redesign put into production last November.
As you can read here, the new Hyundai Tucson family SUV received a sub-par four-star score from Australia’s safety watchdog late last year following its local launch. Most rivals, such as the Mazda CX-5 and Nissan X-Trail, are five-star cars.
ANCAP testing found that the structural integrity of the driver’s footwell was compromised in the frontal offset crash test, while there was also excessive movement of the brake pedal.
A similar issue hit sister company Kia, whose Carnival also scored four stars earlier in 2015. That car is yet to be upgraded to five stars, though the company has said previously it intends to make changes to get the score.
Hyundai's four-star result did not match the score given by European NCAP, nor did it match the car-maker's own internal testing. Hyundai flew engineers from Korea to Australia to examine the crashed car here shortly after the test, last September.
The company says it enacted a redesign, validated, and put it into production. The rating applies to all Tucson variants built from November 17, 2015 in South Korea and December 16, 2015 in the Czech Republic.
Hyundai splits production by variant, with the Active X (this is the version tested that received four stars last year) coming from Korea, and the Active, Elite and Highlander from the Czech Republic. Needless to say, if you are buying a Tucson, check the build date to make sure you’re getting a five-star car with the redesign.
“It is encouraging to see Hyundai make a number of design and production changes to improve the safety of the vehicle and we commend them for acting quickly to implement the improvements,” ANCAP CEO James Goodwin said.
“The changes significantly improved the vehicle’s performance in the frontal offset test which would reduce the possibility of injury to occupants in the event of a crash.”
Hyundai Australia COO Scott Grant said the company was “pleased that the Tucson has now been awarded a five-star safety rating by ANCAP”.
“The Australian score now matches the five stars awarded to Tucson in Europe by Euro NCAP, and is also in line with the maximum safety score achieved by Tucson in the United States.