ARLINGTON, Va. — Two headlight options on the Audi A3 earn an acceptable rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, boosting the midsize luxury car from a TOP SAFETY PICK to a TOP SAFETY PICK+.
To qualify for 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the five IIHS crashworthiness tests — small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints — as well as an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention. The "plus" is given to vehicles that also earn an acceptable or good rating for headlights.
The A3, which has a standard, superior-rated front crash prevention system, was previously included in the list of TOP SAFETY PICK winners. The promotion to the higher award comes after IIHS obtained A3s with different lighting systems for headlight testing.
The LED headlights on the Prestige trim and the Premium Plus trim equipped with the optional LED lighting package earn an acceptable rating. The Prestige trim includes high-beam assist, which automatically switches between low beams and high beams, depending on the presence of other vehicles.
The high-intensity discharge headlights on the lowest trim level, Premium, and on the Premium Plus trim without the LED package earn a poor rating. They provide inadequate lighting on the straightaway and all four curves that are part of the IIHS evaluation.