2018 Volkswagen Atlas Earns ‘Top Safety Pick’ Rating, Fails To Shine In Headlights Evaluation By IIHS

Volkswagen’s largest SUV failed to shine in its evaluations by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Despite the 2018 Atlas clinching a “Top Safety Pick” award from the IIHS, it failed to earn a “+” designation, the highest rating given out by the independent safety watchdog, due to its lackluster showing in the headlights and LATCH categories.

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The three-row crossover, in its inaugural year, appears to have fallen victim to an increasingly obvious problem among SUVs: their headlights aren’t bright enough.

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The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas's headlights proved to be the crossover's Achilles heel as it failed to earn the "Top Safety Pick +" designation from the IIHS.

(Volkswagen)

The IIHS released a report in June in which 37 SUVs’ headlights were tested for their ability to light the road ahead on straightaways and curves while keeping glare to a minimum. The report’s findings showed only 14 vehicles met the safety regulator’s stringent standards, two of which earned top marks. That report indicated an industry-wide problem with headlights in SUVs, though it did mention that SUVs, as a whole, performed better than other car segments the IIHS assesses.

In the case of the 2018 Atlas, the standard LED reflector lights earned the lowest “poor” rating due to their inadequate illumination on all four low-beam curve tests, as well as the right side straightaway. The noticeable lack of high-beam assist and curve adaptive headlights put the kibosh on the base trim’s chances of scoring well with the institute. As for the high-beam evaluations, while visibility was fair on both sides in the straightaway test, curves proved inadequate in these four tests as well.

Because the higher trim level of the Atlas comes with high-beam assist, the headlights in the SEL premium trim scored a “marginal” rating, even though they performed the same in the IIHS’s assessments.

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The 2018 Atlas' abundant offering of advanced safety technology helped it earn a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the IIHS.

(Speedy Daddy Media, Inc.)

The other category where the Atlas failed to perform was the LATCH ease-of-use evaluation. Because the lower anchors in the second-row outboard seats were too deep, thus requiring too much force to attach a car seat easily. The center seat did earn an “acceptable” rating.

In order to be deemed worthy of a “Top Safety Pick +” designation, car must have a combination of “good” crashworthiness ratings in all five crash tests, earn an “advanced” or “superior” rating for its optionally equipped front crash prevention technology, earn an “acceptable” or “good” rating in headlights and LATCH ease-of-use categories.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas Front Left Headlights> 10 photos view gallery First Pictures: 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

While the VeeDub did earn a “good” rating in all five crashworthiness tests, and a “superior” rating in the front crash prevention category, it appears the headlights and LATCH categories weighed too heavy on the 2018 Atlas’ shoulders.

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas comes with standard automatic post-collision braking system, making it the only vehicle in its segment to offer the technology. Other optionally equipped advanced safety features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, front and rear park distance control, park assist and 360-degree birds-eye view camera.

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Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/news/2018-volkswagen-atlas-top-safety-pick-rating-headlights-iihs-article-1.3384410

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