Study reveals many automaker's headlights have much room for improvement

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ARLINGTON, Va. (WKYT) - A new report finds headlights on mid-size SUV's are getting better, but there is still much room for improvement.

The Insurance Institue for Highway Safety tested 37 mid-sized SUV's.
Only two - the Volvo XC60 and Hyundai Sante Fe - received a "good" rating.

"There are about 11 more that have acceptable headlight ratings and all the rest are marginal or poor," said Matthew Brumbelow, Senior Research Engineer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Brumbelow showed a comparison between the Volvo XC60, which received a "good" rating versus the Kia Sorento with a "poor" rating. "The driver of the Sorento can't see the person on the roadway just 100 feet ahead. Nor a pair of deer 200 feet away. Compared the Volvo XC60 in which both are clearly visible."

Brumbelow continued by saying, "I need adequate visibility if I'm going to see an obstacle or pedestrian and come to a stop in time."

The Institute has a simple solution for owners that are not among the best performers: high beams.

"To get that best visibility, we're really encouraging people even in the poor performing vehicle to use their high beams as much as they can," said Brumbelow.

The institute started testing vehicle headlights last year and says automakers are listening to the findings. Companies are now redesigning headlights for vehicles that will hit the road in the years to come.

Below are the findings and rating of the Institute's study:
IIHS 2007 Midsize SUV headlight ratings.
In order of ranking.
(Best available headlight system for each model)
G=Good, A=Acceptable, M=Marginal, P=Poor

Luxury SUVs:
Volvo XC60 (G)
Acura MDX (A)
Acura RDX (A)
BMW X5 (A)
Buick Envision (A)
Infiniti QX70 (A)
Lexus NX (A)
Lexus RX (A)
Mercedes-Benz GLE (A)
Audi Q5 (2018) (M)
BMW X3 (M)
Cadillac XT5 (M)
Infiniti QX50 (M)
Lincoln MKT (M)
Volvo XC90 (M)
Infiniti QX60 (P)
Lincoln MKC (P)
Lincoln MKX (P)

Nonluxury SUVs:
Hyundai Santa Fe (G)
Honda Pilot (A)
Jeep Cherokee (A)
Jeep Grand Cherokee (A)
Toyota Highlander (A)
Chevrolet Equinox (2018) (M)
Dodge Durango (M)
Ford Flex (M)
GMC Acadia (M)
Nissan Murano (M)
Nissan Pathfinder (M)
Dodge Journey (P)
Ford Edge (P)
Ford Explorer (P)
GMC Terrain (P)
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport (P)
Jeep Wrangler (P)
Kia Sorento (P)
Toyota 4Runner (P)

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