The 2020 Chevrolet Equinox has received the coveted Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, though it missed out on the best-possible Top Safety Pick+ rating.
Chevy’s popular compact crossover received the highest rating of ‘Good’ in all six of the IIHS’ crashworthiness evaluations, which include driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraint and passenger-side small overlap front tests.
The Equinox’s standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system also received a rating of ‘Superior,’ the best-possible rating. The IIHS says that in its evaluations, the standard system “avoided a collision in the 12-mph test and reduced its impact speed by an average of 22 mph in the 25 mph.” The crossover’s available pedestrian front crash prevention system also received a rating of ‘Advanced’ which is one level below ‘Superior.’
However, there’s one area that Chevrolet has to improve on if it wants the Chevrolet Equinox to receive a Top Safety Pick+ award. In order to qualify as an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, which represents the safest vehicles available on the market, a vehicle must have a ‘Good’ or ‘Acceptable’ headlight rating. Unfortunately, the standard HID headlights on the Equinox received a rating of ‘Acceptable,’ while the performance of the available LED projectors was deemed ‘Marginal,’ which is just one above the lowest-possible rating of ‘Poor.’
The IIHS says Chevrolet’s LED lights provide inadequate lighting on curves and poor brightness on the sides of the road when in the high-beam setting. GM is at least doing something right here, though, with the IIHS saying the LED high-beam assist “compensates for some limitations of this vehicle’s low beams on the straightaway, on both left curves and right curves.”
We often see the IIHS dock points from vehicles due to headlight performance, though this often has to do with the glare they produce for oncoming traffic, which has proven to be a very common problem for many bright modern-day vehicle headlights. The Equinox’s lights have less-than-desirable illumination, though, making them the problem of the person behind the wheel rather than other motorists.
The Equinox may be able to improve and earn itself a Top Safety Pick+ designation for 2021, with Chevrolet having given the compact crossover a comprehensive update for the upcoming model year that includes a new front fascia with different headlights.
You can read the IIHS’ complete safety evaluation for the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox at this link.