Poor head­lights drag down mid-size pickup trucks in safety test

Jamaica Gleaner - - AUTO MOTIVES -

MOST 2017 model-year mid-size pickup trucks per­form ad­e­quately in one of the most chal­leng­ing crash tests, but none of them earned the top hon­ours from the In­sur­ance In­sti­tute for High­way Safety (IIHS) due to their poor head­lights.

The Toy­ota Ta­coma, the crew-cab ver­sion of the Chevro­let Colorado and the crew-cab ver­sion of the GMC Canyon all earned a ‘good’ rat­ing on the IIHS small-over­lap front crash test.

The test mea­sures the ve­hi­cle’s per­for­mance when it clips an on­com­ing car or smashes into a pole or tree on the side of the road.

The ex­tended cab ver­sions of the Colorado and Canyon earned ‘ac­cept­able’ rat­ings. But the Nis­san Fron­tier, which hasn’t had a ma­jor over­haul since the 2005 model, re­ceived a

Head­lights are ba­sic but vi­tal safety equip­ment. Driv­ers shouldn’t have to give up the abil­ity to see the road at night when they choose a small pickup.

‘mar­ginal’ rank­ing.

The mid-size pick­ups per­formed bet­ter than their full-size cousins, ac­cord­ing to IIHS.

But their head­lights have much room to im­prove. All head­light pack­ages on the mid­size pickup trucks per­formed poorly after IIHS re­cently be­gan rank­ing head­lights based on vis­i­bil­ity and glare.

That pre­vented the pick­ups from earn­ing the IIHS Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick-plus hon­ours.

Poor head­light per­for­mance is a short­com­ing for the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try for a va­ri­ety of fac­tors, in­clud­ing an­cient reg­u­la­tions that have pre­vented engi­neers from adopt­ing tech­nol­ogy that au­to­mat­i­cally con­trols light­ing dispersal.

“Head­lights are ba­sic but vi­tal safety equip­ment. Driv­ers shouldn’t have to give up the abil­ity to see the road at night when they choose a small pickup,” IIHS ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent and chief re­search of­fi­cer David Zuby said in a state­ment.

The all-new 2015 Chevro­let Colorado Z71 is built with the DNA of a true Chevy truck and is ex­pected to de­liver class-lead­ing power, pay­load and trai­ler­ing rat­ings. Colorado goes on sale in fall 2014.

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