First EV this year to earn the honors from IIHS
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt has earned a Top Safety Pick award from the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It’s the first and only all-electric vehicle to earn an award from the agency so far this year.
The Bolt scored “Good” ratings in all five crash categories. Equipped with optional forward collision warning and automatic braking technology, the model earned a top score of “Superior” in front crash prevention. The Bolt was able to completely avoid collisions during autobrake tests conducted from 12 mph and 25 mph (19 and 40 km/h).
Despite top ratings in all other categories, the car earned a “Poor” rating for its headlights. Failure in this category prevented the Bolt from earning IIHS’ top distinction, the Top Safety Pick+ award. “[The headlights] provide fair to good visibility but produce excessive glare for oncoming drivers,” IIHS noted in a recent release.
To qualify for a Top Safety Pick award, vehicles must earn “Good” ratings in all five crash categories as well as an “Advanced” or “Superior” score in front crash prevention. To earn the coveted Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles must meet the same criteria in addition to a headlight rating of “Good” or “Acceptable.”
Favorable headlight ratings have eluded many vehicles across the industry. In a test of midsize SUVs earlier this month, two models had “Good” headlights, 12 had “Acceptable” headlights, and 23 had “Marginal” or “Poor” headlights. Meanwhile, a host of small cars—including the Honda Civic, Subaru Crosstrek, Volkswagen Golf, Nissan Sentra, Lexus CT 200h, and others—received “Poor” headlight scores.