IIHS tests crossover headlights; none deemed ‘good’ [Video]

IIHS tests crossover headlights; none deemed ‘good’ [Video]

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has expanded its headlight assessment program, finding illumination deficiencies with 21 different small SUVs and crossovers.

Not a single model was deemed worthy of an overall ‘good’ rating. The Mazda CX-3 came closest, but only in the Grand Touring trim with LED headlights. The only other models to earn an ‘acceptable’ designation include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson.

At the other end of the spectrum, more than half the test fleet received ‘poor’ marks. The tests found “unacceptable glare” with 17 models, including those outfitted with halogen, HID and LED technology. Others simply failed to provide adequate illumination on straightaways and curves.

“The worst headlights among the small SUVs belong to a different Honda — the new-for-2016 HR-V,” the IIHS report says. “The illumination provided by the HR-V’s halogen low beams and high beams is inadequate on all four curves and on the straightaway. The HR-V is one of 12 small SUVs that can’t be purchased with anything other than poor-rated headlights.”

The institute hopes the reports will pressure automakers to develop better headlights. The headlight assessment program was only recently introduced, so automakers may be scrambling to update headlights for better performance in the specific IIHS test scenarios. Some revisions will likely arrive via mid-cycle updates, as ‘good’ lighting ratings will be required to qualify for Top Safety Pick+ status beginning next year.

The next IIHS headlight report will focus on pickups.

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