Chevrolet Colorado, Silverado, GMC Canyon All Fail IIHS Headlight Testing32
Previously, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety broke the news that many passenger cars’ headlamps weren’t all that great. Now, it’s back to tell us the same thing about pickup trucks.
The IIHS recently conducted its latest headlight tests and, no surprise, many trucks outright flunked it. According to Motor Trend, out of 11 pickups (and 23 possible headlamp configurations) only the Honda Ridgeline managed a “Good” rating. The rest fell into the “Acceptable”, “Marginal” and “Poor” categories. Most fell into the latter.
Specifically, the Chevrolet Colorado was singled out for downright terrible performance. The Colorado’s halogen headlamps illuminated just 124 feet in front of the truck. The Ridgeline, in comparison, illuminates 358 feet ahead.
Cousin GMC wasn’t left out of it either. The GMC Sierra 1500 with LEDs and automatic high-beam assist scored an “Acceptable” rating, but leaving out the LEDs, and swapping them for HIDs, led to a “Poor” rating for the full-size truck.
The Chevrolet Silverado didn’t quite match the Sierra’s ratings, also receiving a “Poor” grading. Ditto for the GMC Canyon.
The U.S. has long been overdue for new automotive lighting standards, which lacks behind innovative applications found in European vehicles. As the IIHS continues to tell the tale of poor lighting applications, maybe it will change sooner rather than later.
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I purchased 2015 Silverado, used for $50,000. I should have driven it in the night time. Shame on Chevrolet for these lights. I almost hit someone walking on the pavement the other evening. I try not to drive at night because the lights are so poor. It just shows how little Gm thinks of its customers. This is my third GM truck and it will probably be my last.
GM, you lost a good customer.
I know some of these comments are planted by GM. I have a 2015 Silverado and have NEVER had headlights so poor in my 40 years of driving. Even going down a sidestreet with no lights art 30MPH, the lighting is not sufficient. Forget about turning. As you start to turn, the street disappears because there is no peripheral lighting.
Those comments made about the lighting being sufficient are bogus. GM did have a lighting upgrade for the 2015 because they were so poor! Unfortunately, I purchased my vehicle used so could not get the upgrade.
If you are not being sincere on these forums, why don’t you just stay off them.
For years NHTSA has oversimplified public discussion of truck headlights, and the glare truck headlights cause for oncoming traffic, even going so far as to suggest a limit on the height of truck headlights based on the intellectual lazy assumption that if the beam starts out “high” it will remain “high” and cause glare for oncoming traffic. This has poisoned the well of reasoned discussion. For example, in the above piece, where is the author’s assertion that the headlights were properly aimed?
Even after someone who actually understands headlight aiming has optimized a given truck’s HID or LED headlight aim adjustment (Note to reader: All government approved headlights are adjustable!) so that the brightest area of the truck’s headlight beam intersects a level/flat road in front of the truck at maybe 160 ft for low beams and 350 ft for high beams, the NHTSA observer is probably unable to discard the intellectually lazy notion mentioned above and cannot see how the glare from a truck’s properly aimed headlights actually cause *less* glare to oncoming traffic, compared to a car with equivalent headlights closer to the ground. So there is little hope of a reasoned path forward. What about beam focus and sharpness? What about aiming? What about light/color spectrum? No, we’re stuck on “distance.”
It’s not that simple.
Assuming somehow that we could get past the concept of a headlight being properly aimed for the current payload in the bed of the truck, I’d like to see some discussion of the sharpness of the low beam pattern cutoff made possible by the projector lens. Only a few of the comments about this piece could be charitably classified as acknowledging any role being played by the sharpness of the low beam cutoff. No comments mentioned spectrum. Most comments completely bypass these relevant technical details.