The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released the results of its testing of the new 2019 Volkswagen Arteon, and it’s a mixed bag. While the all-new sedan earns the highest possible rating in all six IIHS crashworthiness tests and its standard front crash prevention system also earned the highest possible rating, all three available sets of headlights for the Arteon were rated poor, the lowest rating.
IIHS evaluates crashworthiness in six ways: driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It also tests available — or, in the Arteon’s case, standard — front crash protection technology and headlights.
The three available sets of headlights for the Arteon are all LED projector headlamps. The standard, non-curve-adaptive set rated poor for visibility. Curve-adaptive LED headlights with and without high-beam assist are also available, but each of those sets produces excessive glare, according to IIHS.
Had any one of the sets of headlights been rated acceptable — the headlight scale is good, acceptable or poor — the Arteon would have qualified for a Top Safety Pick designation. A headlight rating of good would’ve made the sedan a Top Safety Pick Plus, IIHS’ highest honor.
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The Arteon doesn’t have a lot of competitors in its IIHS class — which the Institute calls Large Cars — but the 2019 Kia Cadenza is a Top Safety Pick, and both the 2019 Kia Stinger and 2019 Toyota Avalon are Top Safety Pick Plus designees. Others, such as the 2019 Dodge Charger, 2019 Chrysler 300 and 2019 Buick LaCrosse, miss out on the awards by virtue of poor ratings or incomplete testing.
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