Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent improve in small overlap front crash test

July 3, 2018

The redesigned Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent earn a good rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's driver-side small overlap front test — a marked improvement over the previous generation of each of these vehicles.

The 2018 minicars, which are built on the same platform, earn an acceptable rating for protection in a passenger-side small overlap front crash.

The earlier version of the Accent earned a poor rating in the driver-side small overlap test, while the Rio earned a marginal rating. Both had high levels of intrusion into the driver's space, and the driver dummy's movement was not well-controlled.

In both the tests of the 2013 Accent and the 2013 Rio, intrusion reached 11 inches at the lower door hinge pillar, and movement of the steering column allowed the dummy's head to slide off the airbag. In the case of the Accent, the head hit the instrumental panel, as the safety belt allowed too much forward movement.

In contrast, in the test of the 2018 Rio, which also applies to the 2018 Accent, the structure was maintained well, and the safety belt and airbags did a good job controlling the dummy's movement.

In the passenger-side test, the front airbag didn't work quite as well, resulting in the lower rating. The dummy's head barely contacted the airbag before sliding off to the right, leaving it vulnerable to contact with the forward structure.

Despite improved crash test performance and a newly available front crash prevention system that earns a superior rating, the Rio and Accent aren't eligible for a Top Safety Pick award because of their headlights. The only available headlights earn a poor rating due to inadequate visibility.

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