After three frustrating weeks in search of a car, I’m now looking at a 2010 Hyundai Sonata GLS vs. a 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS.
All things being relatively equal (price, MPG, etc.), it comes down to safety for me. But with the change in the NHTSA ratings in 2011, I’m a bit darn confused.
The 2010 gets 5 stars in everything from the NHTSA, but the IIHS gives it “acceptable” or “poor” for side impacts. Okay. I suppose that’s a variance in how they conduct tests.
But then it gets more complicated:
the NHTSA rating is 3/5 stars for front-end impact, 4 stars overall in the 2011 Sonata “early” models, manufactured prior to July 2, 2010 (the car I am looking at fits in this category). The “later” models get 4/5 stars for front-end and 5 stars overall. So apparently Hyundai did something (which I cannot find anywhere on the internet) to change the front end of the car?
Then I read an article on Consumer Reports that said the the new NHTSA ratings may not be immediately helpful because of the way they changed them, so to rely on the IIHS ratings for a bit. The IIHS rating is “good” for ALL 2011 Sonatas. It gave it the top pick. It even acknowledges that Hyundai made some structural changes to the car between the “early” and “late” release but it made no difference in the IIHS’ ratings so the rating applies to BOTH cars.
Here are the relevant links:
So, the question I have is: what does any/all of this mean? Is the 2011 Sonata safe? I do a lot of highway driving. I really like the way it rides, but I’m a little uncertain on how to decode these various ratings.
Thanks in advance.