The IIHS said Monday that the 2018 Nissan Kicks crossover SUV performed well enough in its barrage of crash tests to earn the Top Safety Pick award.
Subpar headlights held the 2018 Kicks, a new model this year, from the Top Safety Pick+ award.
According to the IIHS, the Kicks earned "Good" ratings in most crash tests. Only an "Acceptable" score for the passenger-side small overlap frontal crash test, which simulates impact with a stationary object such as a utility pole, prevented the Kicks from acing its report card.
The IIHS said that the small crossover SUV's standard automatic emergency braking system rated "Superior." Kicks S and SV trim levels have halogen headlights the insurance industry-funded group rated "Poor," but the LED headlights fitted to the range-topping Kicks SR were rated "Acceptable."
The ratings apply only to the 2018 Nissan Kicks. Nissan has not detailed any changes to the 2019 Kicks.
2018 Nissan Sentra
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Separately, the IIHS also said Monday that the 2018 and 2019 Nissan Sentra compact sedan earned the Top Safety Pick award as well. The Sentra does not come with automatic emergency braking as standard equipment, but its optional system rated the same "Superior" grade as the Kicks' collision-avoidance tech.
Like the Kicks, the Sentra's best headlights—optional LED units—were rated "Acceptable," but the standard halogen headlights rated "Poor." Nissan revised the design of the Sentra sedan's headlights for the 2018 model year.
Automatic emergency braking is standard on all Sentras with the continuously variable transmission, but it's not available on models equipped with manual transmissions.