The 2022 Volkswagen Taos didn't manage to get a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety because it didn't score well enough in two of the crash tests. Also, the standard headlights received a Marginal score for not providing adequate visibility.

In the passenger-side small overlap crash test, the Taos' body deformed into the occupant's survival space. This is enough for the IIHS to give the crossover an Acceptable rating for this evaluation, which is one step below the top score of Good.

Gallery: 2022 Volkswagen Taos

In the head restraint evaluation, the seat in the Taos didn't provide enough support to the dummy's head and neck in a simulated rear-end crash. The IIHS gave the vehicle an Acceptable score in this test because of this performance

In the IIHS' four other crash tests, the Taos received a Good score.

The agency also tests front crash prevention systems. The Taos' tech receives a Basic score in the vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluation and Superior in the vehicle-to-vehicle test

For a 2022 model year vehicle to receive a Top Safety Pick award. It must have a Good rating in all six crash tests. An available front crash prevention system has to score Advanced or Superior in the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. An available headlight option needs to rate Good or Acceptable. 

To get the more prestigious Top Safety Pick+, the standard headlights must get a Good or Acceptable score, in addition to meeting all of the qualifications for the other award.

For 2023 vehicles, the IIHS is making it even harder to get one of its awards. The side impact crash test now happens at a higher speed and with a heavier load striking the vehicle. A Good or Acceptable score is necessary to be a Top Safety Pick, and a Good rating is necessary to be a Top Safety Pick+.

IIHS is also adding a nighttime pedestrian crash prevention evaluation. To be a Top Safety Pick+, the vehicle needs to score an Advanced or Superior rating.

Another tweak is that the standard headlights need a Good or Acceptable score for a vehicle to be a Top Safety Pick.

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