Is Hyundai’s safety rating on small SUVs better than Audi’s?

When it comes to small SUVs and safety, the Audi Q3 may be more luxurious, but the Hyundai Tucson is a Top Safety Pick Plus award-winner. It’s at the top of its class.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 4, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • The Hyundai Tucson is the safest small SUV on the market with the best safety ratings in its class
  • The Audi Q3 is nearly $10,000 more expensive and smaller in almost every aspect
  • Insuring the Hyundai is cheaper because it’s so safe

The Audi Q3 and the Hyundai Tucson fall into the same class in terms of size and capability. They’re both small SUVs, and that’s why so many people compare the two despite one being an affordable brand and the other a luxury brand.

Most people want to know which one is the better buy. It’s easy to assume the one with the best price is the best buy, but this is not always the case. The old adage, “you get what you pay for,” comes to mind.

The Hyundai starts a full $10,000 less expensive than the Audi, but it also has more room in almost every dimension when you do the math. It’s slightly larger, a lot less expensive, and it has better gas mileage.

The Audi boasts 20 mpg while the Hyundai offers a more impressive and cost-efficient 23 mpg. With this in mind, it seems obvious to drivers which one is the best buy, but you must first take into consideration the safety of the vehicle.

Compare car insurance quotes right here to see which of these two vehicles would get you a lower auto insurance price.

Does safety really matter?

Yes, safety matters when you’re driving a small SUV. It might seem as if most cars have the same type of safety features since they’re all made with the same materials and the same thought in mind, but it’s just not the case.

Every small SUV is different, and some of them are safer than others in terms of being able to handle accidents better, with less damage, and with fewer impacts to the people inside a vehicle.

If you have a family, you want to keep them safe on the road. You want to know which small SUV is going to offer them the following:

  • best chance at safety
  • easiest LATCH system so you can confidently place your baby in the back of your small SUV knowing their car seat is installed properly and correctly
  • best options for crash prevention

Safety ratings also matter because they affect the premiums you pay to car insurance agencies. No one wants to pay more than they need to for car insurance, and the better the safety rating of the small SUV the less it costs to insure.

If these aren’t good enough reasons to consider safety important, what is?


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IIHS Safety Ratings

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) uses a complex system of crash tests to determine which small SUVs are best in accidents and have the best safety features. They test vehicles in terms of crashworthiness by grading each of the following categories.

  • small overlap front
  • moderate overlap front
  • side strength
  • roof strength
  • head restraints and seat

They then grade the vehicle on its crash avoidance and mitigation abilities by grading the headlights and the front crash prevention. The headlights get a letter grade, but the front crash prevention is given a score of superior, advanced, or basic.

The last category in which a small SUV is graded is the child seat anchors, and the only subcategory graded here is the LATCH system.

The LATCH system is graded on how easy it is to use since the belief is that an easy-to-use system increases a person’s ability to get their kids into the car safely and correctly.

Each category is graded with letter grades, marked from best to worst.

  • “G” for good
  • “A” for acceptable
  • “M” for marginal
  • “P” for poor

If a vehicle earns perfect scores in crashworthiness and receives either an advanced or superior front crash test rating, it’s awarded an IIHS Top Safety Pick award.

If it also has headlights with an acceptable or good rating, the vehicle gets the Top Safety Pick Plus award.

Both of these awards are prestigious, and they allow you to pay lower car insurance premiums due to safety reasons.

Hyundai Tucson

With an “A” rating in the headlights and the LATCH system, the Hyundai Tucson already outdoes most of the 23 small SUVs in its class.

However, it’s the perfect crash test scores this small SUV receives in every other category that makes it the safest small SUV in its class.

It’s a Top Safety Pick Plus award-winner, and it’s at the top of its class in terms of safety.

Audi Q3

The Audi is less impressive in terms of safety. It might be sleeker, more luxurious, and it has that luxury logo on the front, but safety is not its best quality. This small SUV does not even have a front crash prevention rating, and it received a poor rating for its headlights.

The LATCH system received an acceptable rating, and the crashworthiness is impressive with perfect scores in every category. It’s not a safety award winner of any type.

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Saving on Car Insurance

Before you go out and buy either the Hyundai or the Audi, know you should look around to see which car insurance company is going to provide you the best rates.

The Hyundai will be less expensive to insure since it’s got so many impressive safety ratings, and you do have options for finding additional insurance discounts if you do the math to find out what you qualify for.

If you’re not shopping around for car insurance quotes because you remain loyal to one company, consider that a mistake. You might not be getting the best rate as a loyal customer, and it might pay off for you to shop around.

There are some companies that offer “loyalty” discounts that are only issued by first raising your rates significantly and leading you to believe your loyalty is being awarded.

Compare quotes for yourself to find the best rate for the coverage you need. Enter your zip code below to get started.

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