2020 Volkswagen Arteon Shines in Safety Ratings

Volkswagen’s Arteon sedan missed out on a 2019 crashworthiness award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety because of poor ratings for all three sets of its headlights. In response, VW made some changes to the Arteon’s headlights for the 2020 model year — now the 2020 Arteon is a Top Safety Pick, the insurance-industry-backed crash-safety advocacy organization’s penultimate award.

Related: Volkswagen Updates 2021 Arteon Sedan With New Interior, Mild Facelift

To qualify for the Top Safety Pick designation, a vehicle must earn a score of good (on a scale of good, acceptable, marginal or poor) in six crashworthiness tests: driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats.

A vehicle must also earn a score of superior or advanced (on a scale of superior, advanced or basic) for its available front crash prevention system in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian collision avoidance tests. The 2020 Arteon scored superior in vehicle-to-vehicle testing but earned an advanced rating in vehicle-to-pedestrian testing.

Headlight testing is a third component of IIHS testing. The 2019 Arteon’s three sets of headlights all earned a poor rating. The 2020 Arteon’s curve-adaptive LED headlights, available on SEL trims and above, earned a good rating; the lower SE trim’s headlights are still rated poor, however.

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A vehicle can earn a Top Safety Pick award when at least one set of headlights is rated acceptable or better, but to qualify for the Top Safety Pick Plus designation, IIHS’ highest award, all of a vehicle’s available headlights must be rated acceptable or better.

Among competitors, the 2020 Kia Stinger is also a Top Safety Pick. More expensive but similar-size large sedans like the 2020 Audi A6 and 2020 Genesis G80 are 2020 Top Safety Pick Plus designees.

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