If you thought the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety had a problem with headlights on midsize sedans, wait until you see how its safety researchers feel about small SUVs. Let’s just say they’re even less impressed with them.
IIHS researchers recently looked into headlight performance on 21 small SUVs.
Not one of them earned a good rating, and only four of them received an acceptable one. When you do the math, that means two-thirds of them received a poor rating.
IIHS engineers evaluate headlights on the Vehicle Research Center’s track after dark. A special device is used to measure how far the light is projected as the vehicle is driven on five approaches: traveling straight, a sharp left curve, a sharp right curve, a gradual left curve and a gradual right curve.
Glare from low beams for oncoming drivers is also measured in each scenario. A vehicle with excessive glare on any of the approaches can’t earn a rating higher than marginal.
Check out how all 21 SUVs tested fared below.
Starting in 2017, headlights need to receive a good or acceptable rating for a vehicle to receive the IIHS’s top safety award.
The IIHS plans to test trucks, next.
Photo Credit: IIHS