The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety makes its crash tests tougher and tougher each year, and many automakers are rising to the challenge. IIHS announced that the 2019 Nissan Maxima has earned the Top Safety Pick award, the agency’s second-highest designation.
The Maxima earned good scores in all IIHS physical crash tests, and its standard front crash prevention system earned a superior rating. IIHS said the model-year 2019 Maxima’s system avoided a collision in the 12-mph test and reduced its impact speed by an average of 11 mph in the 25-mph test. The 2020 model’s standard system, which is available as an option on the 2019 model, prevented crashes in both 12- and 25-mph tests.
As with many other vehicles that have recently qualified for IIHS’s safety awards, there’s a catch regarding the sedan’s headlight rating. IIHS said that only 2019 Maxima models equipped with the available LED reflector headlights with high-beam assist built after June 2019 earn an acceptable rating, qualifying them for Top Safety Pick status.
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Headlights on models built before June 2019 rate only marginal due to excessive glare. However, all model-year 2020 vehicles have acceptable-rated headlights since high-beam assist is a standard feature. A vehicle needs good-rated headlights to qualify for IIHS’ highest award, Top Safety Pick Plus.
Nissan’s largest sedan was redesigned for 2019, and the award applies to both model-year 2019 and 2020 versions of the Maxima.
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