Headlights improve, but base models leave drivers in the dark – IIHS News


David Aylor>>Headlights are an obvious crash-avoidance feature that help prevent nighttime crashes. Over half of fatalities occur at night, and
almost 25 percent occur on unlit roads.>>The track is ready, you can begin your run.>>When we first started evaluating headlights
in 2016, there weren’t very many vehicles that performed well. We have seen some improvement. For 2018, about half of the vehicles earn
a good or acceptable rating, but there’s still a significant number of vehicles that only
earn a marginal or poor rating on their best-available headlight. Good-rated headlights are required to qualify
for our 2018 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award and only two vehicles are available with good
headlights across all trim lines. Those are the 2018 Genesis G90 and the 2018
Lexus NX. The 2018 Hyundai Kona offers both good-rated
LED headlights and poor-rated halogen headlights. In our testing, the good-rated LEDs illuminate the right edge of the road at 450 feet, compared to only 220 feet for the
poor-rated halogen headlights. Often good-rated headlights are only available
on expensive trim lines or in expensive packages. An example is the 2018 Honda Ridgeline, which will cost you almost $12,000 more to get good-rated headlights. The 2018 Kia Soul is only available with good-rated
headlights when you pay $26,000. In comparison, a base model with poor-rated
headlights is only $16,000. We’ve seen some improvement since our initial
testing in 2016, but consumers shouldn’t have to buy a fully loaded vehicle in order
to get good-rated headlights. All new vehicles should come with good-rated
headlights.

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