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Kia Telluride Is Officially Safe To Crash But Has One Minor Flaw

Crash / 6 Comments

And it's part of a bigger issue in the United States.

For 2020, Kia has gone bigger than ever before with the all-new Telluride SUV. We loved the Telluride the first time we drove it, and Kia's three-row crossover is quickly being pronounced one of the best SUVs on sale. Aside from its corporate sibling, the Hyundai Palisade, few vehicles in this segment compete as well on styling, technology, luxury, and now, safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has just tested the 2020 Telluride and the results are great (but not perfect). The Telluride earned the IIHS's second-highest Top Safety Pick rating, falling just shy of a Top Safety Pick+ designation.

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To be rated a Top Safety Pick, the Telluride scored 'good' (the highest option) in the small overlap driver-side, small overlap passenger-side, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint/seat crash tests. The Telluride's front crash prevention also received the highest score possible of 'superior,' cementing it as an extremely safety vehicle for a family.

But it didn't score the Top Safety Pick+ rating for two reasons. First, its child seat anchors only scored an 'acceptable' rating on the ease of use test. Secondly, the headlights were scored as only 'acceptable' on the highest SX trim, with all other trim levels only scoring a 'poor' rating.

The SX trim scored higher because it comes with LED projector headlights while all other trims only include basic halogen bulbs. Headlights have been a major issue for a lot of US-spec vehicles in the past few years, causing many to miss out on the highest IIHS ratings. Automakers would have an easier time building better headlights if they were allowed to use fully adaptive high beams, which can automatically redirect light when it senses an approaching car.

These systems currently exist in Europe, but the US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 108 from 1967 prevents automakers from offering them here. That's right, we are still following a law from the '60s regarding vehicle safety more than five decades later. Automakers have lobbied to change the rule but have thus far been unsuccessful.