Deemed a Top Safety Pick.
The latest Chevrolet Equinox may not have toppled the Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-5 for class-best honors, but it now has another feather in its cap: the 2020 model of the mid-size SUV has been named by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as a Top Safety Pick. The 2020 Equinox received Good ratings in all six of the IIHS' evaluations for crashworthiness, although it only qualifies for the award when fitted with specific headlights.
To earn a Top Safety Pick, a vehicle needs to earn Good ratings in several key crash parameters, including roof strength and the driver-side small overlap front test. A Good or Acceptable rating is also needed for the passenger-side small overlap front test, along with an Advanced or Superior rating for vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention. The headlights need a Good or Acceptable rating, with the Equinox's available HID projector headlights matching this requirement.
The Equinox also benefits by having high-beam assist fitted as standard, automatically switching between low and high beams based on whether other vehicles are detected or not. The 2020 Equinox joins the 2019 Honda CR-V in achieving the Top Safety Pick award, but the 2019 Mazda CX-5 did them both better by being named a Top Safety Pick+. The 'Plus' designation is for vehicles meeting the criteria for the Top Safety Pick, but also with Good scores for the headlights and passenger-side small overlap test.
Interestingly, the IIHS recently updated its side-impact crash test to better account for real-world scenarios, with the fast-moving rig's weight increased to 4,200 pounds (up from 3,300 lbs), and it will also strike the evaluated vehicle at 37 mph, up from 31 mph. The primary objective is to simulate the damage caused by a pickup truck or large SUV on another vehicle. Automakers haven't yet been informed of when they'll need to meet the requirements of the updated test, but it bodes well for ever-increasing levels of car safety.