IIHS Awards 2017 Buick LaCrosse Top Safety Pick

2017 Buick LaCrosse IIHS small front crash test.jpg 2017 Buick LaCrosse in IIHS small overlap front crash test | IIHS image

CARS.COM — The redesigned 2017 Buick LaCrosse full-size sedan has earned a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The new LaCrosse got the top rating of good in all areas of IIHS crashworthiness testing, as well as the top rating of superior for the electronic crash prevention system with automatic emergency braking. It has a basic rating for the standard collision warning system.

Related: Our view: 2017 Buick LaCrosse

The LaCrosse fell short of earning a Top Safety Pick Plus, however, because of a bottom rating of poor for its xenon high-intensity-discharge projector beam headlights, the only headlights offered on the Lacrosse. IIHS said the low beams offer inadequate visibility in left curves and on both sides of the road on straightaways. See the full rating details here.

To earn a 2017 Top Safety Pick rating, a car must earn a score of good in all five IIHS crash tests (small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats) and offer a front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating in testing. Getting a Plus designation for 2017 also now requires an acceptable or good headlight rating, which has proved difficult for many vehicles.

Among other large cars, the 2017 Toyota Avalon also earned a Top Safety Pick and missed the Plus designation with a marginal rating for its headlights. See the 2017 IIHS ratings for large cars here.

The previous-generation 2016 LaCrosse was not tested for small overlap front crash protection. See its ratings here. Among other models in the current Buick lineup, the 2017 Envision compact SUV is rated a Top Safety Pick Plus, with a notch lower at Advanced for the crash protection system but an acceptable rating for the headlights available on the Premium II trim.

The new LaCrosse, along with the other five vehicles in Buick’s 2017 lineup, has already received a perfect five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Former D.C. Bureau Chief Fred Meier, who lives every day with Washington gridlock, has an un-American love of small wagons and hatchbacks. Email Fred Meier

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