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

The safest among all small SUVs, the Hyundai Tucson has perfect scores in all but two areas. The Volkswagen Tiguan is located far down the list.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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...

Full Bio →

Written by

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...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 28, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Things to remember...

  • The Hyundai Tucson is the highest-rated vehicle for safety in its class
  • The Volkswagen Tiguan and the Tucson are priced similarly
  • The Hyundai Tucson was awarded this highest safety award in the current model year

There are 23 small SUVs on the market in the current model year, but only one can take the top spot for being the safest SUV on the market.

It’s the Hyundai Tucson, but it’s also important to note this vehicle is tied with the Kia Sportage in all safety ratings for the title of safest small SUV on the market.

If you’re shopping for a small SUV, you might consider safety the most important feature in a new vehicle. However, you might also want to know how the vehicle you are considering stacks up against the safest small SUV in its class.

If it’s the Volkswagen Tiguan you’re looking to buy, you’ll want to know how it compares to the Hyundai Tucson in terms of its safety features and other options. The price of these two small SUVs is similar.

The starting price for the Tucson is approximately $22k while the Tiguan is approximately $24k.

Fuel economy is similar, but it’s the size that really matters. When comparing various dimensions of these two SUVs, the Hyundai Tucson takes the win for most space in most categories. The VW has the superior towing capacity, though.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the best rate for the coverage you need. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool above.

What kind of safety features are rated in small SUVs?

Safety features rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are specific. The IIHS rates vehicles in three main categories with their own set of subcategories all with a letter grade.

Only the front crash prevention is rated using something other than a letter grade. It’s rated with a grade of basic, advanced, or superior.

The main functions tested when a vehicle is rated by the IIHS are the crashworthiness, child seat anchors, and the crash avoidance and mitigation. They are given letter grades as follows:

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

Only the child LATCH is tested in the child seat anchor category, and headlights and front crash preventional abilities are tested in the crash mitigation category.

To determine the crashworthiness of a vehicle, the IIHS tests how well the small and moderate front overlaps hold up in accidents.

The IIHS also tests the strength of both the side and the roof of a small SUV. Finally, the IIHS tests the head restraints and seats for performance abilities in case of an accident.

If a small SUV is rated well in specific safety tests, it’s given an award from the IIHS. It can earn a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick Plus award, both of which allow you to save significantly on the overall cost of insurance.

Perfect scores in the crashworthiness category, as well as an advanced or better rating in front crash testing, provides a vehicle with a Top Safety Pick award.

The added feature of headlights with an acceptable rating or better provides small SUVs with the Top Safety Pick Plus award.


Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Hyundai Tucson vs. Volkswagen Tiguan

Both vehicles share many similarities, but only one is the best-rated small SUV for safety in its class. That’s the Hyundai. The VW didn’t win any awards, and it wasn’t tested for front crash prevention.

This score made it impossible for this SUV to win any awards, though it didn’t test well enough in all categories to have earned one regardless.

Hyundai Tucson

The safest vehicle in its class, this small SUV has it all. It has perfect scores in all but two areas. The headlights are acceptable, and the LATCH system is also acceptable.

These are great scores even if they aren’t perfect. This is a Top Safety Pick Plus award recipient, which means it gets the best insurance discounts available.

Volkswagen Tiguan

Unfortunately, the VW is located quite far down the list of safest small SUVs. It performed poorly in the small overlap front and headlight categories, and it was not rated for its front crash prevention qualities.

The LATCH system, however, received an acceptable rating. It also received “G” ratings in the remainder of the vehicle’s crashworthiness categories.

What do I really want from my small SUV?

As for what you want in a small SUV, that’s personal. Some people prefer more style, some prefer a luxury logo, while space is the most important factor for others.

Safety is always a major part of the decision-making process, but there are other considerations to make when shopping for a small SUV.

The long-term cost is a consideration you must never forget. What appears cheaper upfront might not always be cheaper later.

Prior to buying a new car, call your car insurance company to see the cost of insuring different vehicles on your list. Now compare rates with various insurance companies to see if you can get better rates with a new company.

Fuel economy, repairs, warranties, and even the cost of adding your future teen drivers to your insurance policies all play a role in the long-term affordability of your new SUV.

Additionally, you must consider the trim you’re considering. If you want added features such as sunroofs, leather seats, and entertainment systems, you’re looking at a bigger price tag at purchase.

Taking the time to make a list of each want you have versus the overall cost can help you make a more informed decision.

A longer factory warranty is always helpful, a car with better gas mileage is great if you drive often, and one with all the little luxuries you prefer is more important than other factors if you spend ample time in your car.

Make a list, compare your priorities, and buy the car you really want.

Compare car insurance quotes for the vehicles you’re considering and see which one offers better rates with different insurers. Enter your zip code below to begin.



Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption