Both the 2019 Ford Edge and 2019 Lincoln Nautilus missed out on an IIHS Top Safety Pick award because of their subpar headlights.
The insurance industry-funded safety organization otherwise gave the two related mid-size crossovers excellent marks in the standard round of crash tests. Both the 2019 Edge and 2019 Nautilus received "Good" scores in the small-overlap front, moderate-overlap front, and side crash tests. Top marks were awarded for roof strength and head restraints and seats. Both crossovers also earned "Superior" scores for their crash-avoidance and mitigation technologies.
To earn a Top Safety Pick, vehicles must score a "Good" rating in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests and a "Good" or "Acceptable" rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test. Top Safety Picks must also earn a "Superior" rating for crash-avoidance tech and either an "Acceptable" or "Good" rating for headlights.
The latter was both crossovers' downfall. Under the skin, the Edge and Nautilus, which was previously called the Lincoln MKX, share the same structure.
2019 Lincoln Nautilus
The two crossover SUVs earned "Poor" marks for their headlights. The Edge and Nautilus earned extra credit for high-beam assist on some models, but the LED projector and LED reflectors created excessive glare, the IIHS said in its testing notes.
ALSO SEE: Read our 2019 Lincoln Nautilus review
Headlights have tripped up multiple new vehicles as the IIHS has focused on grading the components harder.
Most of the time, Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards only apply to a specific trim level that includes "Acceptable" or "Good"-rated headlights. Thus, consumers will often have to spend more on a costly package or trim level to unlock the best and most effective headlight technology.