The Atoz’s body became unstable in the frontal impact, resulting in large steering wheel movements and substantial brake pedal intrusion. This and high loading on the driver’s chest led to a poor performance overall. However, the side impact was very creditable and only the risk of chest injury lost it points, although the driver’s head struck a glancing blow on the centre pillar. However, the child restraints did not perform well especially in the frontal impact, where the heads of the dummies were allowed to go too far forward. Pedestrian protection was average for this size of car.
The driver’s door remained reasonably straight and could be opened after the impact. But most of the protection available was on the limit, including the steering wheel being distorted and the driver’s head ‘bottoming out’ on the airbag. The front occupants’ knees risked injury from hazardous areas under and around the steering column.
The side impact was the saving grace for the Atoz: its structure absorbed the forces and with little obvious padding protecting the driver, although the chest loading was high. Altogether this was a very creditable performance which shows careful design. A minus point was that the driver’s head hit the central pillar, if not sufficiently to risk serious injury.
Hyundai do not recommend a restraint to the public although they chose the ones used in this test. They need to take protecting children in their cars more seriously. The restraints did not protect the children well. They allowed too much forward movement in the frontal impact and did not contain their heads in the side impact. This substantially increased the risk of serious injury for children in this car. More needs to be done to improve the way in which restraints are secured.
Unusually, there was some protection for pedestrians’ legs and hips rather than it being all in the head zones. Even so, there is much that can be achieved in improving the protection that this car offers.