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Three Nissans make Top Safety Pick+ despite tougher scoring

Three Nissans make Top Safety Pick+ despite tougher scoring

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The U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have released a list of cars that made Top Safety Pick+ and Top Safety Pick even after adding a new headlight performance criteria to their measurements. The new standard has thrown a real spanner in the works. A spanner that some automakers are still scrambling to catch up with. Except Nissan.

As well as the new headlight test, vehicles have to perform well in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests and front crash prevention with standard or optional autonomous braking. Vehicles with some kind of automatic braking will score higher.

Nissan got three vehicles into Top Safety Pick+ with the Nissan Rogue, Nissan Altima and Nissan Maxima. The Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKX, Kia Optima, Kia Sedona, Kia Sportage, Kia Sorento, Nissan Sentra, Nissan Murano and Nissan Pathfinder all made Top Safety Pick.

During 2015, there were 79 vehicles that were awarded Top Safety Pick+. This year, that number fell to 38. All thanks to this new headlight test. So what’s all the fuss about?

‘The field of contenders is smaller this year because so few vehicles have headlights that do their job well, but it's not as small as we expected when we decided to raise the bar for the awards,’ says Adrian Lund, IIHS president. ‘Manufacturers are focusing on improving this basic safety equipment, and we're confident that the winners' list will grow as the year progresses.’

New headlight test
The new measurement for headlights was introduced earlier this year. The idea is to assess the various light technologies and standards to see which is best. The test assess light emitted from both high and low beam in five different driving scenarios, driving straight, a sharp left curve, a sharp right curve, a gradual left curve and a gradual right curve.

The test measures light projected forward for the driver and the glare as would be experienced from oncoming traffic. The IIHS measures at specific points that simulate where a driver would most need illumination and deducts points according to any compromises with the lighting. According to the IIHS, there are no huge defects in modern car lighting but there are some setup issues that, if remedied, could improve lighting for drivers of most of the cars tested so far.

So currently, the Nissan Rogue, Nissan Altima and Nissan Maxima are some of the safest vehicles on the road right now. They all scored Top Safety Pick+, better than many of their contemporaries and more expensive competitors. Given the other benefits, reliability, cabin quality and design, there is every reason to choose a Nissan as your next car.

Visit Collins Nissan, 155 Scott Street, St. Catharines, Ontario, L2N 1H3 to seem them for yourself!

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