The 2020 Chevy Equinox compact crossover SUV earned a Top Safety Pick award, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported last month. The insurance-industry funded group recognized the high-beam assist feature standard on the 2020 Equinox for improved ratings on its headlight tests, helped it qualify for the coveted award over the 2019 model.
"Vehicles can earn extra credit in Institute headlight tests for having high-beam assist because research has shown that drivers don't use high beams as often as they should," the IIHS said in a statement.
While many automakers are beefing up vehicle strength in the rigorous crash tests conducted by the IIHS, they have lagged in the relatively new headlights tests. The 2019 Equinox headlights were rated "Marginal," or second worst of the four classifications. The 2020 Equinox LT trim equipped with HID projector lights is now "Acceptable," for visibility on curves and straightaways; the LED projector lights on Premier trim and halogen lights on L and LS trims were still rated at "Marginal." Inadequate visibility on curves was at fault.
Until now, Chevy has lagged in its rollout of active safety features, making even automatic emergency braking an upcharge on top trims in some models. Competitors such as Toyota and Nissan offer that equipment as standard across the product line.
Chevy got the message, and will offer AEB standard on the 2020 Equinox. It wasn't available on the 2019 based model. The IIHS rated the standard systems in the 2020 Equinox at "Superior" for avoiding collisions at 12 mph and reducing the impact of collisions in the 25 mph test.
The 2020 Chevy Equinox joins the Ford Escape and Nissan Rogue for TSP designations in the small SUV class.