The IIHS last week bestowed Lincoln's flagship Continental sedan with a Top Safety Pick+ award, its highest accolade. The 2019 Continental earned "Good" ratings in all crash categories and its standard suite of active safety features earned a "Superior" rating, two qualifications for the Top Safety Pick+ award.
Vehicles must also sport "Good" headlights, which one variant of the Continental does. In this case, it's the range-topping Reserve model that offers upgraded LED headlights as an option. Lincoln does not offer the headlights on the Standard or Select trims, which means buyers will need to spend $60,705 to enter the Reserve model, and then $2,015 for the LED headlights.
Late last year, the IIHS said that new-car headlights continue to improve across the board, but that buyers usually have to pay extra for the added safety. More often than not, the best headlights only come with high-end models, not more popular trim levels or base models.
To wit, the IIHS said that Continental's standard HID headlights earn a "Poor" rating because they create too much glare for drivers in other vehicles. Across the industry last year, the IIHS found 43 models only offered "Poor" rated headlights as the best option for drivers.
The American luxury brand is the first vehicle from a U.S. manufacturer to snag a Top Safety Pick+ in 2019. The safety body named its list of winners last month, but the Continental was not included due to a new seat and head restraint combination fitted to the sedan. The IIHS' tests to evaluate whiplash protection were not completed on time. All other Continental safety ratings carry over from the previous model year.