Only a single truck offers powerful enough lights to get a Good rating. Most of them get Poor scores.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is continuing its headlight evaluations, and the results for pickups are just as bad as the earlier tests of crossovers and midsize cars. Only the 2017 Honda Ridgeline earned the group’s top Good score, and that was only with its optional LED low beams. The standard lights had a Poor rating – the lowest possible grade.
The institute tested a total of 23 available headlight combinations on 11 pickups. Fourteen of them produced excessive glare that could dazzle other drivers, which immediately pushed those lights’ scores down to at least Marginal – the second-lowest rating.
The GMC Sierra was the only truck to receive an Acceptable score but exclusively for models with the optional LED headlights and automatic high beams. The rating dropped to Marginal with the LEDs but without extra assistance. The standard HID units scored Poor.
Showing that newer technology doesn’t necessarily solve this problem, the 2017 Nissan Titan scored Marginal for its standard halogen lights and also for versions with the available LED low beams. The 2016 Ram 1500 also had a Marginal rating with its halogen reflector lights, but models with the halogen projectors had Poor grades.
All of the other models tested had a Poor rating regardless of the available options. These trucks are:
- 2016-17 Chevrolet Silverado
- 2016-17 Ford F-150
- 2016-17 Toyota Tundra
- 2016 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2016 GMC Canyon
- 2016 Nissan Frontier
- 2016-17 Toyota Tacoma
The IIHS began testing headlights earlier this year when its engineers noticed that the United States government’s laboratory test allowed for large variations in illumination. The only other vehicle with a Good rating so far has been the 2016 Toyota Prius V with the optional LEDs and automatic high beams. The standard halogen projectors earned a Poor grade, and the LEDs without the extra tech were Acceptable.
The IIHS is pushing to improve the situation. Starting with vehicles from the 2017 model year, the headlights must receive a Good or Acceptable rating for the vehicle to be eligible for the prestigious Top Safety Pick+ honor.