2011 Hyundai Sonata – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata has a lot of things going for it. Not only does the sedan wear sleek new sheetmetal, it's powered by a powerful yet fuel-efficient 2.4-liter four-pot mill with direct injection, capable of achieving up to 35 miles per gallon on the highway and it's priced below the $20,000 mark. Now, the Sonata can wear another badge of honor, as it has just earned the rating of Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

According to the IIHS, a Top Safety Pick vehicle must earn the highest rating of "good" in all front, side and rear crash tests, and it must be equipped with electronic stability control. This is a relatively big achievement for Hyundai, as the 2011 model is the first Sonata to receive this high honor.

We're in the process of conducting our first drive on the Sonata as you read this, so stay tuned for full driving impressions in the not-too-distant future.

[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]

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