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Here at FUEL we love to talk about the safety of cars arriving in Latin America, whether it’s good or bad news. As was the case with the recent Hyundai Tucson (NX4), which had a dismal result in Latin NCAP a year ago. It seems that the brand listened diligently and was committed to improving its model for Latin America, and in the most recent test the Tucson went from zero to three stars in safety.
Sure, three stars out of five doesn’t sound like much, and it’s true that perfection is a bit further away. But this shows that Hyundai is open to criticism and willing to correct the mistakes of the Tucson’s first test in Latin NCAP. Of course, the governments of the region still need to require more safety accessories so that even the most basic cars have at least three-star safety.
As you know, Latin NCAP does not test just any model. By this I mean that this entity evaluates the input models instead of the most complete variants. When the Tucson NX4 arrived in the region, Its most basic model barely had two airbags and elements such as stability control were conspicuous by their absence. This is where Hyundai concentrated its efforts to improve.
The Korean brand incorporated some improvements to the entry model; they include six airbags (side and curtain) instead of two, stability control and three-point belts for all seats. The changes worked, because the Hyundai Tucson received satisfactory results in the Latin NCAP crash tests. Although systems such as autonomous braking are missing, something that the entity requires these days, at least it is available in more complete variants of the Tucson.
Indeed, the safety of the Hyundai Tucson improved in all the aspects that Latin NCAP evaluates. Protection for adults went from 50 to 82%, with the protection rating for children jumping from 5 to 70%. Such an advance is thanks to the inclusion of six airbags, allowing the Tucson to perform adequately in side crash tests. It should be noted that these results apply to Tucsons produced from June 2 in Korea, and April 4 in the Czech Republic.
As for assistance systems, the inclusion of stability control and seat belt reminder raised its rating from 7 to 56%. Latin NCAP says the vehicle performed well in the moose test, but the lack of autonomous braking and blind-spot detection limited its rating.
Such systems are available on more complete Tucson models, and although tested by Latin NCAP, they are not included in the rating. The reason? They are not standard items on the most basic model of the Tucson. Either way, this is a remarkable response from Hyundai, and a positive step for Latin America to have access to vehicles with more stringent and comprehensive safety requirements.