The Headlights on Your SUV Are Probably Terrible

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has revealed more than half of midsize SUV headlights are rated marginal or poor.

Although headlights are improving when it comes to visibility, IIHS says many still need to do a better job of lighting the road ahead while limiting bothersome glare. Among the 19 midsize SUVs and 18 midsize luxury SUVs tested by IIHS, only the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2017 Volvo XC60 are available with good-rated headlights.

A total of 12 SUVs are available with headlights rated acceptable, while 23 aren’t available with anything other than marginal- or poor-rated headlights.

The worst bunch are the Infiniti QX60, Lincoln MKC, Lincoln MKX, Dodge Journey, Ford Edge, Ford Explorer, GMC Terrain, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Jeep Wrangler, Kia Sorento, and Toyota 4Runner, which all have poor-rated headlights.

Vehicles that received an acceptable rating include the Acura MDX, Acura RDX, BMW X5, Buick Envision, Infiniti QX70, Lexus NX, Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Honda Pilot, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Toyota Highlander.

SEE ALSO: Most Headlights Rate Poorly in First IIHS Evaluation

Midsize SUVs that have marginal-rated headlights are 2018 Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac XT5, Infiniti QX50, Lincoln MKT, Volvo XC90, 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, Dodge Durango, Ford Flex, GMC Acadia, Nissan Murano, and Nissan Pathfinder.

“As a group, midsize SUV headlights perform slightly better than the other SUVs and pickups we evaluated last year, and that’s encouraging,” says IIHS senior research engineer Matt Brumbelow. “Still, we continue to see headlights that compromise safety because they only provide a short view down the road at night.”

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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