The Toyota C-HR aced Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash-safety tests — and then fell short of a Top Safety Pick award by throwing up a brick for its headlights evaluation. The C-HR subcompact SUV, new from Toyota for 2018, got the top score of good in all of the IIHS crash tests (driver- and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints) and also earned the top rating of superior for the vehicle's standard front crash prevention system with automatic emergency braking. Those scores would qualify it for a top award.
Then it hit bottom with the lowest score of poor for the quality of its headlights. That new testing has proved difficult for a lot of automakers, however, and even many vehicles that get higher scores often get them for optional systems, not the standard lights. IIHS describes the C-HR's halogen headlights as providing "inadequate visibility on curves but also producing excessive glare from the low beams." It also says that the C-HR's standard automatic high-beams feature "doesn't help much, as the high beams provide little additional visibility over the low beams."
IIHS notes that the C-HR will be a Top Safety Pick if Toyota improves the headlights to earn the award's minimum acceptable rating. It says the C-HR would get the highest Top Safety Pick Plus award if headlights are upgraded to earn the top score of good.
Among rival subcompact wagons and SUVs, the 2018 Kia Soul earned a Top Safety Pick Plus from IIHS for models equipped with the optional front crash prevention system and optional headlights. And the 2018 Mazda CX-3 currently rates as a Top Safety Pick, thanks to an acceptable rating for its optional headlight system. Meanwhile, several other subcompacts also rated poor for headlights, including the 2018 models of the new Hyundai Kona, Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade. See the full category of compact and subcompact SUV scores here.
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