Aim first. “All new vehicles should come with good headlights.”. A front-mounted camera located in the upper-portion of the windshield detects lights from oncoming and leading vehicles. For the most part, the best-rated beams were not on the base models. Toyota Motors Whistleblower Protection Policy, Toyota Finance Whistleblower Protection Policy. A good rating is one of several requirements for a given vehicle to earn IIHS’ highest safety award, Top Safety Pick Plus, while acceptable is required for the agency’s lesser Top Safety Pick award. The good-rated LED projector headlights on the top two trim levels of the Kona lit almost 450 feet on the right side of the road in the straightaway test for low beams, but the Kona’s two lower trim levels (SE and SEL) have poor-rated halogen projector low beams that only illuminated 220 feet. When you’re on a very dark road with no traffic, the high beams come on. It’s not designed to replace safe driving practices. While driving with the headlight switch in the AUTO position, the vehicle’s high beams will remain on when low light is detected. Headlight systems on 43 of the model-year 2018 cars tested by IIHS only get the poor grade, regardless of how much you spend: IIHS’ headlight tests measure the lights’ reach on straightaways and curves, evaluating the amount of visibility provided by low beams and high beams as well as whether they produce excessive glare for other drivers. All images indicative only and not to scale. “The Kona’s LED low beams should give a driver traveling straight at 65 mph enough time to identify an obstacle in the road and brake to a stop,” Aylor said. Go to Owner’s Manuals But not every automaker has upped its game: Thirty-two models offered marginal headlights at best, and 43 fly blind with all available headlight configurations rated poor. Headlights have improved a lot in the past few years, according to a new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This also alleviates the need to switch them off when a car is approaching, keeping everyone safe. Good headlights also are essential to spot pedestrians, bikes, deer and other hazards. 10 This driver-activated system with windshield-mounted camera scans the road at speeds above 25 miles per hour. Here’s How Much the 2021 Ford F-150 Costs, GM to Recall 5.9 Million SUV and Pickups for Takata Airbag Inflators: What Owners Should Know, 10 Biggest News Stories of the Week: Chevrolet Blazer Leads Black Friday Car Deals to the Top. Simply, an automatic high beam controller is a unit, which can automatically judge when the headlight beam needs to be lowered, and which dip the headlamp from which beam to a dipped beam. If an oncoming or leading vehicle is detected, the headlights setting will be automatically switched from the high beam to the low beam. While driving with the headlight switch in the AUTO position, the vehicle’s high beams will remain on when low light is detected. If the camera sensor detects a change, such as the presence of streetlights, headlights or tail lights ahead, it may shift from high to low beam to help you maintain safe and considerate driving. IIHS cited the new Hyundai Kona subcompact SUV as an example of the pitfalls for shoppers trying to watch their budgets. What Are the Best Black Friday New-Car Deals for 2020? Access them anywhere. “In contrast, someone with the halogen lights would need to drive 25 mph slower to have enough time to react to avoid a crash.”, Related: How Do I Know My Headlights Are Aimed Properly. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. That’s the good news. The agency says more than half of the 165 model-year 2018 vehicles it’s tested offer headlights rated good or acceptable (out of good, acceptable, marginal or poor), up from just two out of 195 cars tested that earned those ratings in the 2016 model year. The Automatic High Beams feature can be manually overridden by simply using the high beam switch. IIHS found just two 2018 models on which you could get nothing but good headlights, regardless of options or trim level, and both are luxury vehicles: the Genesis G90 flagship sedan and Lexus NX mid-size SUV. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments. Among the 165 model-year 2018 cars IIHS tested, 32 received a good rating for the best available headlight option, while 58 got the next highest rating of acceptable. 2021 Jaguar F-Type: 6 Things We Like and 4 Things We Don’t, new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Blinded by the Light: Approval for High-Tech Headlights May Help, How Do I Know My Headlights Are Aimed Properly. “Manufacturers have made changes to improve headlights, whether through better aim or the light source itself,” Aylor says. Sign Up, Already have an account? illustration by Paul Dolan; photo by Christian Lantry, illustration by Paul Dolan; IIHS data, Nearly 51,000 2017-19 Chevrolet Bolt EVs Recalled for Fire Risk, Honda Civic Prototype Revealed, and It’s Pretty Much the 2022 Civic, 2021 Ford F-150 Review: Keeping the Champion in Top Condition. You might not think of manually turning your high beams on or off every time you need to. We solved this age old problem with an advanced piece of technology that reduces the need to manage your headlights manually[S1]. The bad news? Even the cars with high ratings require careful shopping to get the best lights, since a vehicle may have several available headlight configurations. The agency says about half of all fatal crashes in the U.S. occur in the dark, and more than a quarter occur on unlit roads. Handling of Personally Identifiable Information.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. While differences in the headlight technology matters, so … How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2021 Kia Forte GT? The Automatic High Beams feature can be manually overridden by simply using the high beam switch. Seventeen vehicles, meanwhile, had good ratings for their top headlights but poor ratings for their lowest-rated lights. The agency weights low beams more because they’re used more often; it also weights straightaway results more heavily because crashes are more common on straight sections of road. * The High Beam Assist system will operate when the vehicle is traveling at speeds of approximately 19 mph (30 km/h) and above. Based on light level sensing, the system will switch the headlight setting from high to low beam automatically. The system will switch the headlights setting back to high beam automatically when the traffic conditions are safe. The idea behind the High Beam Control (HBC) system is to provide drivers with automatic high beam headlights when the driving conditions are right. It’s not designed to replace safe driving practices. Please note: This technology is a driver-assist feature only. … Unless you go for a test drive at night, IIHS ratings are the only way to know whether the vehicle you’re considering will have good headlights.”. Most automakers make you pay more to get those improved headlights by keeping them as extra-cost options, part of expensive options packages or only in higher trim levels. For more information please read your Toyota owner’s manual. What’s the Most Reliable New-Car Brand for 2020? How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2020 Land Rover Defender. When travelling over 50km/h at night, Automatic High Beam (AHB)[S1] uses a built-in camera to detect the headlights of oncoming traffic and the tail lamps of vehicles in front. IIHS evaluated 424 variations available on 2018 model-year cars, and 67 percent of the variations rated marginal or poor due to inadequate visibility, excessive low-beam glare for oncoming drivers or both. Please note: This technology is a driver-assist feature only. And just four others have nothing but good or acceptable lights: Chevrolet Volt, Genesis G80, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Toyota Camry.