Auto Safety Comparison: Hyundai SmartSense vs. Honda Sensing®

When shopping for a new family SUV or car, you’ll probably want to pick one that has a robust list of advanced vehicle safety features. But before you even consider selecting a model, it’d be wise to compare auto brands and their available active and passive safety systems. To choose between the two most popular vehicle brands in America, take a few minutes to run through our Hyundai SmartSense vs. Honda Sensing® comparison. They may look alike, but these auto safety systems are worlds apart.

Hyundai SmartSense vs Honda Sensing

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) vs. Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CBMS™)

Hyundai’s FCA is similar to Honda’s CMBS™ in that they both detect imminent crashes and automatically apply emergency brakes to avoid or reduce the severity of a collision.

However, Hyundai’s safety feature also offers Pedestrian Detection, which does exactly that—detects pedestrians. When pedestrians or cyclists are spotted by the forward-facing camera, FCA will activate in-cabin warnings and apply emergency brakes as necessary.

Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) vs. Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) & Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)

Hyundai’s LKA and Honda’s RDM and LKAS features work double duty by monitoring lane positioning and alerting drivers when the vehicle is drifting out of its lane without the use of a turn signal. If needed, corrective steering assistance is provided to keep the vehicle inside the lane.

Honda’s RDM system also applies brakes as necessary, though this can be a hazard in some instances, specifically on the highway or in heavy Birmingham traffic.

Smart Cruise Control (SCC) vs. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

Hyundai SCC with Stop & Go technology acts similarly to Honda’s ACC with Low-Speed Follow. While driving at your pre-set speed, sensors monitor the flow of traffic to maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. When your vehicle slows down to a crawl, both cruise control systems will automatically switch off.

SCC with Stop & Go is slightly different, as it will intelligently re-engage your pre-set speed when the flow of traffic moves again (within 3 seconds of stopping).

Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) vs. Blind Spot Information (BSI)

The Blind-Spot Collision Warning system on Hyundai models offers more defenses than the Honda BSI system. Honda’s blind-spot warning feature flashes icons on the side mirrors when vehicles are detected; Hyundai’s BCW takes it a step further by playing audio warnings in the cabin when you try to change lanes.

Honda does have a LaneWatch™ feature on passenger-side mirrors, but it’s pricey and only available on select range-topping models.

High Beam Assist (HBA) vs. Auto High-Beam Headlights

The Hyundai HBA system automatically detects oncoming vehicles – or the lack thereof – and toggles between low and high beams at night. A strike goes against Honda’s system, as it only toggles between high beams and low beams when the vehicle is traveling above 25 mph. Hyundai’s HBA is more intuitive and convenient.

Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW) vs. Cross Traffic Monitor

When you’re in reverse, and another vehicle approaches from the left or right, these systems will warn you with audible and visible cues.

Hyundai-Exclusive Safety Features

Driver Attention Warning (DAW)

Exclusive to Hyundai, DAW aims to prevent accidents by monitoring your driving behavior and patterns. The system detects if you’re drowsy, inattentive, or distracted, then sends audible and visible warnings. DAW is available on most new Hyundai models, including the award-winning Hyundai Kona, Santa Fe, Tucson, Elantra, Veloster, and Nexo.

Safe Exit Assist (SEA)

Another Hyundai-only feature, Safe Exit Assist prevents passengers from exiting the vehicle when approaching vehicles are detected, relative to the passenger’s side. This Hyundai system acts like a child safety precaution, and it’s available on new Elantra and Santa Fe models.

Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)

An industry-first safety feature, ROA utilizes ultrasonic sensors to monitor the back seat, ensuring children and pets aren’t left behind. If movement is detected in the vehicle after the driver exits, the horn will honk, lights will flash, and the owner’s smartphone will be sent an alert (through Blue Link®). This is currently available on the Hyundai Santa Fe, though you can expect Rear Occupant Alert to migrate to other Hyundai models soon.

Remote Smart Parking Assist

This self-driving system allows your Hyundai Nexo to parallel-park itself, whether you’re behind the wheel or not! The self-parking feature will engage with the push of your smart key button. Better yet, you can use the same button to pull the car out of its parking spot. Think of it as a personal valet that you don’t have to tip (unless you count regular maintenance and oil changes as currency).

Hyundai SafetySense Makes More Sense

Although both automakers have great reputations for crafting safe vehicles, it’s clear that Hyundai’s SafetySense offers more innovation than Honda Sensing. In fact, SafetySense helped Hyundai earn more IIHS TSP and TSP+ wins than Honda in 2019, which is a testament to Hyundai’s engineering team. (Good work, guys and gals!)

SP and TSP+ wins than Honda in 2019, which is a testament to Hyundai’s engineering team. (Good work, guys and gals!)

Now that you’ve compared Honda and Hyundai safety features, you’re ready for step two: a test drive. Swing by our Hoover-area Hyundai dealership at 1424 5th Ave N in Birmingham to browse our selection of new Hyundai models for sale. For more info about SafetySense or to talk to a member of our auto financing team, contact Jim Burke Hyundai at (205) 588-6283. Safe travels.

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