At least according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The stylish Volkswagen Arteon is finally here. Being Volkswagen's new flagship sedan equipped with the latest safety technology, you would expect it to perform well in crash tests carried out by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash tests. And yet, surprisingly, the Arteon failed to earn a Top Safety Pick Award, let alone a Top Safety Pick+ award.
Introduced for the 2019 model year, the Arteon earned good ratings in all six crash tests carried out by the IIHS. These include the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests. But one area let the large luxury sedan down badly.
As standard, the Arteon comes with a front crash prevention system, which was rated superior by the IIHS since it avoided collisions in 12 and 25 mph track tests. It also has a forward collision warning system that meets the criteria set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
So why did the Volkswagen Arteon fail to earn a Top Safety Pick award? Because the Arteon has terrible headlights, according to the IIHS. In fact, all three of the Arteon's available headlight options were rated poor by the organization. Its base headlights static LED projectors were panned due to "deficiencies in visibility". Its other two systems (curve adaptive LED projectors with and without high-beam assist), on the other hand, earned the poor rating because of "excessive glare," which would reduce visibility for other road users. This seems to be a common problem, as the 2019 Honda Passport also recently failed to earn a Top Safety Pick+ award due to its headlights not meeting the standards of the IIHS.
An acceptable headlight rating would have given the Arteon a 2019 Top Safety Pick award, and a good headlight rating would have given it the higher-tier Top Safety Pick+ award. Let's hope Volkswagen makes the necessary changes to the headlights in a future model update because it's a shame to see a car perform so well in crash testing only to be let down by poor headlights.