Major auto manufacturers are eager to tout the latest safety features that they’ve integrated into their newest models. But diligently comparing these different features and deciding which is best – well, that can be undoubtedly confusing.
Two of the automakers best known for safety, Hyundai and Honda, have their own names for their safety suites. Hyundai calls theirs “SmartSense” while Honda dubs theirs “Honda Sensing®.” These safety systems have helped both manufacturers make the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) list of Top Safety Picks each year. Let’s run down the benefits of each and compare SmartSense to Sensing, so you can choose the safest vehicle for you and your family.
1. Hyundai’s Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist vs. Honda’s Collision Mitigation Braking System™
Both of these systems are similar: Forward-facing cameras and radars detect obstacles in front of your vehicle and how quickly you are approaching them. First, each system sounds a warning; then, if slowing doesn’t begin, the car automatically begins to brake. Data from IIHS reports that these collision avoidance systems reduce rear-end accidents by 27%.
The key difference is that Hyundai’s system not only detects larger objects and other vehicles, but it also is more reliable at identifying and giving you a warning about passing pedestrians and cyclists. If necessary, Hyundai’s Pedestrian Detection puts the brakes on in order to prevent a potentially fatal collision.
Best Option: Hyundai, because FCA is better at detecting pedestrians and those on bicycles. Honda’s system also records more annoying false-positives, according to some consumers.
2. Hyundai’s Lane Keeping Assist vs. Honda’s Lane Keeping Assist System & Road Departure Mitigation
These two systems use cameras to ensure the vehicle is positioned inside its lane. If the vehicle starts to drift without the use of a turn signal, a warning sounds.
Where the systems differ is in how they handle continued out-of-lane drifting. Hyundai’s LKA applies gentle corrective steering to help the driver guide the vehicle back into the center of the lane. Honda’s LKAS also helps steer you back into the lane, but if it seems like your vehicle is veering dramatically out of your lane, the RDM feature applies the brakes to slow you down.
Some critics have expressed concerns over Honda’s automatic braking, especially when driving in heavy traffic. Braking in this circumstance could lead to a rear-end collision.
Best Option: The slight edge goes to Hyundai SmartSense. The two are roughly equal, but we’ll note that more Hyundai owners reported satisfaction with their vehicle’s lane-keeping features in Consumer Reports surveys.
3. Hyundai’s Blind-Spot Collision Warning vs. Honda’s Blind Spot Information
The idea behind blind-spot warning systems is to show you if there’s another vehicle in that hard-to-see place to your back right or left. Such systems can save you from an accident when you’re changing lanes and can’t see the presence of another vehicle. Consumer Reports ranks this one of the top three safety features available on newer cars.
On the Hyundai BCW system, you’ll see an indicator on your side mirror if there’s a vehicle detected in your blind spot. You’ll hear a warning if you try to change lanes. The Honda BSI system also shows an indicator on the side driver or passenger mirror and sounds a warning if you activate your turn signal.
On select higher-end models, Honda also has a feature called LaneWatch™ that incorporates an actual side camera, so you can view what’s going to your side in a similar way to a back-up camera.
Best Option: Both of these systems can help avoid accidents and side-swipes well.
4. Hyundai’s Smart Cruise Control vs. Honda’s Adaptive Cruise Control
Using the cruise control feature in Kansas City traffic is easier with an adaptive system. Sensors in the front of the vehicle sense when you’re getting close to another car in traffic and automatically maintain a safe distance. In stop-and-go traffic, the systems halt cruise control all together so you can take over manually.
Best Option: While both systems work well, Hyundai SmartSense cruise control is better than Honda Sensing’s because it automatically assumes your set speed again when traffic begins to move (within 3 seconds of initially stopping).
5. Hyundai’s High Beam Assist vs. Honda’s Auto High-Beam Headlights
These systems help you by automatically toggling from high-beam lights back to regular if an oncoming vehicle is detected. Once the road is clear again, the systems go back to high beams for increased visibility.
Best Option:Hyundai’s High Beam Assist works any time the car is in motion, while Honda’s comparable safety feature only functions when the car is going more than 25 miles per hour. Drivers also rate Hyundai’s advanced headlights as more intuitive.
Additional Hyundai Safety Features
In addition, Hyundai models feature some safety benefits that aren’t present in Honda vehicles, like a driver attention warning that detects if the vehicle’s operator is acting drowsy or distracted, as well as a rear occupant alert that lets you know if you’ve left a pet or child in the back seat after exiting. Hyundai SmartSense is just too good.
For more information on how Hyundai is the leader in safety features — with its eight 2019 models earning the IIHS Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ — come in and talk to someone from our Blue Springs Hyundai dealership. We’ll answer any questions you have about Hyundai’s safety suite of features and let you test them for yourself! Contact McCarthy Blue Springs Hyundai near Kansas City at 816-224-7500 to speak with a member of our team about buying or leasing a new Hyundai today!
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