Study: Most small SUV headlights have poor rating

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(WFLA) — The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its results for SUV headlights Tuesday, and not a single small SUV out of those tested earned a good rating.

They found only four small SUV’s out of 21 tested had “acceptable-rated headlights.”

Among the 21 vehicles, there are 47 different headlight combinations available and more than two-thirds of them are rated poor, making this group of vehicles even more deficient when it comes to lighting than the midsize cars rated earlier this year.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, about half of traffic deaths occur either in the dark or around dawn or dusk. They say headlight performance in today’s vehicles varies widely and government standards are based on lab tests that don’t accurately gauge performance in real-world driving.

The IIHS evaluations of small and midsize SUVs showed that a vehicle’s price doesn’t correspond to the quality of headlights.

They also found modern lighting types — including high-intensity discharge (HID), LED lamps, and curve-adaptive systems that swivel in the direction of steering — also do not guarantee good performance.

According to the IIHS report, the best performing headlights in the small SUV group belong to the Mazda CX-3. The other vehicles available with “acceptable” headlights are the Ford Escape, the Honda CR-V and the Hyundai Tucson.

The worst headlights among the small SUVs belong to the new Honda HR-V. The IIHS says The illumination provided by the HR-V’s halogen low beams and high beams is inadequate on all four curves tested and on the straightaway tested.

The other small SUVs with “poor” ratings are Audi Q3, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Renegade, Jeep Wrangler, 2017 Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Nissan Rogue, and Subaru Forester.

For more information, go to iihs.org. The full report can be found here.

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