The newest edition of the Chevrolet Equinox joins the ranks of the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 as one of the safest SUVs in the market as the model emerged as a Top Safety Pick in tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The 2020 Equinox scored Good ratings in all six evaluations for crashworthiness, but, for full disclosure, the model is only qualified for the award when fitted with a specific set of headlights.
According to IIHS’ scoring metric, earning a Top Safety Pick recognition requires a vehicle to earn Good ratings in several key crash parameters. This includes roof strength and the driver-side small overlap front test. For the passenger-side small overlap front test, a Good or Acceptable mark is necessary, while an Advanced or Superior rating is required for vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention. As for the headlights, a Good or Acceptable rating is the requirement, which is met by the Equinox SUV’s HID projector headlights.
Additionally, the model gained favor with its high-beam assist as standard equipment. It automatically switches between low and high beams depending on whether other vehicles are detected in the vicinity or not.
The 2020 Chevrolet Equinox joins the 2019 Honda CR-V in achieving the Top Safety Pick recognition from the IIHS, but the 2019 Mazda CX-5 bested both models by claiming the Top Safety Pick+ plum. The “Plus” designation is given to vehicles that not only met the criteria for the Top Safety Pick but also received Good ratings for the headlights and passenger-side small overlap test.
It is also worth noting that IIHS recently updated its side-impact crash test in a move to make its evaluations better reflect real-world scenarios. It increased the fast-moving rig’s weight from 3,300 lbs to 4,200 lbs, which will now strike the vehicle being evaluated at 37 mph instead of the previous 31 mph.
The improved crash test aims to simulate the damage caused by a pickup truck or a large SUV on another vehicle. But, so far, automakers have not received information from the IIHS of when they will have to meet the requirements of the updated test. Nonetheless, it increases the level of car safety for consumers in the United States.