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

The Mitsubishi Outlander and Hyundai Tuscon both got top marks from the IIHS, but the Outlander is safer. The average cost of SUV auto insurance is 18% higher than other cars.

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: Nov 3, 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 difference in insurance savings between a Top Safety Pick+ and Top Safety Pick is nearly nonexistent, but the difference in one of the award winners and a car with no awards can be huge
  • Even though some IIHS scores can be higher than others, the car can still be ranked lower because of optional equipment and certain trims
  • The Mitsubishi Outlander and Hyundai Tucson had similar scores, but the Outlander was a Top Safety Pick+

The tests the IIHS has developed are used to help people discover the safest cars available to them.

The Institute likes to ensure they are offering the most accurate results of tests so they choose to use tests that are similar to accidents that could happen in real-life situations. They have the best and most accurate safety ratings in the United States.

The IIHS has also created awards for vehicles that will help people see the difference between mediocre vehicles and ones that are exceptionally safe.

To receive an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick award, vehicles must meet certain requirements. They must also not have any scores that dip below the standard for the class of vehicle they are in.

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

IIHS Ratings Explained

The three major categories that the IIHS tests are as follows:

The Institute likes to make sure they are using the same tests across the board and has a rating system that is used on all classes of cars. The best rating a car can receive is a G for good. It is followed by an A for acceptable, M for marginal, and P for poor.

The M and P ratings are reserved for cars that do not have a Top Safety Pick or + award. The Mitsubishi Outlander and the Hyundai Tucson received all G and A scores.


LATCH Ease of Use

For the LATCH system to be effective, it has to be easy to use. The LATCH systems are safe in every vehicle because they have to be, but that doesn’t mean they have to be easy to use. The Outlander had a LATCH system that received an A because it was too deep in the seat.

The Tucson had a LATCH system that also received an A because its anchors were too close to other equipment that could have caused a user to become confused. 

Both of the vehicles scored better than most but could have still done better if they had put their LATCH anchors somewhere else in the seat.

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

For vehicles that are new, crash avoidance is a huge part of the way they are rated. In fact, crash avoidance and mitigation is its category for the IIHS. The Outlander and the Tucson both had A scores for their headlights and superior scores for their crash avoidance.

While the scores looked the same, there was one major difference. The Outlander received the scores based on optional equipment.

The Tucson also received the score based on optional equipment, but the headlights that had the A score were not available with the trim option that allowed the vehicle to score a superior for the crash avoidance. For that reason, it lost points and lost out on a higher award.


The IIHS uses the front small and moderate overlaps, the side and the roof tests as well as the restraints to help determine how a vehicle would perform during a crash.

The Outlander and the Tucson had G scores for the sides, the roof, and the restraints. The difference between them was in the passenger small front overlap. The Tucson received a G rating, but there was no data for the Outlander.

The fact that it did not have data took points away from the overall score of the Outlander even though it had a G on everything else in the crash tests. Since the scores were so close in the overall section, it was a close race for the actual winner between the two vehicles.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

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

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

The Safest Pick

Not only did the Outlander receive the Top Safety Pick+ award but it was also safer than the Tucson.

Even though it was missing some data, but had an overall identical score to the Tucson, it ranked higher because the Tucson didn’t have appropriate headlights with the crash avoidance system.

The problem that caused the Tucson to lose out on some of the ranking points also caused it to lose out on the Top Safety Pick+ award. While the Top Safety Pick award is still something great for Tucson to have, it is not quite as good.

Saving money is important to many drivers. While a safe vehicle can mean the difference in life and death, saving money is something more drivers think about on a regular basis.

Choosing a Top Safety Pick+ vehicle can help drivers save more money. Drivers will also be able to be more secure in their small size SUV knowing that it has an award from the IIHS.

Comparing car insurance quotes to lead you to big savings on your premiums. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool below to get started shopping around today.×1600.jpg×1600.jpg

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

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

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption