The award applies to the Santa Fe Sport with optional front-crash prevention. The Institute noted that the award does not apply to the larger 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.
The 2017 Santa Fe Sport is on sale now at Hyundai dealerships.
"A beefed-up occupant compartment takes the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport from a marginal to a good rating in the small overlap front test," the Institute said in a statement on Tuesday. "Prior to the changes, the midsize SUV's structure failed to hold up in the small overlap test, which replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with a vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole."
The Santa Fe Sport also has "good" ratings in other Institute crash tests.
The 2017 Santa Fe Sport also earned the highest five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It received five stars in the front and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover crash test.
The rating applies to front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the Santa Fe Sport.
Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Santa Fe lineup includes vehicle stability management with electronic stability control and traction control, seven airbags, rearview camera, antilock brakes and hill-start assist control.
Optional safety features include lane-departure warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers keeping score should note that the 2016 Toyota RAV4 also earned the 2016 Top Safety Pick+ award.