2018 Volkswagen Atlas Named IIHS Top Safety Pick

By

Automotive Editor

Based in India, Surya has been writing about cars for over two years now. His work has been published in popular online publications including BMWBlog and GTspirit. He is particularly interested in the business side of the automotive industry.


, Automotive Editor - August 8, 2017

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas has received a Top Safety Pick rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Atlas that IIHS tested was equipped with the Front Assist safety package, available as an option on all the trims.

To get a Top Safety Pick rating, a vehicle must earn a "Good" rating in the IIHS five crash tests tests — small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints. The front collision system of the car needs achieve “Advanced” or “Superior” score – the Atlas earned the latter.

The IIHS safety tests are very rigorous and hence, obtaining the Top Safety Pick title is commendable.However, the Atlas' main competitors, the Mazda CX-9, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Hyundai Santa Fe all earned the more prestigious Top Safety Pick + prize.

The Atlas fell short of IIHS' top designation because of the poor performance of its headlights. Base versions of the Atlas have LED headlights, but they recorded the lowest rating possible – "Poor" – because they lacked an automatic high-beam assist and the ability to curve around bends, like the system in the CX-9. Even the Atlas SEL Premium, which gets automatic high-beam assist but is still missing active front lighting, only managed a "Marginal" rating.

Despite the disappointing headlight performance, the Atlas still did quite well in its first round of IIHS testing. It seems likely that with only the headlights to attend to, a Top Safety Pick + rating could be in this model's future, perhaps as part of a mid-cycle refresh.

And now for the reason you're all here (probably), here's the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas being crashed into a wall.

, Automotive Editor

Based in India, Surya has been writing about cars for over two years now. His work has been published in popular online publications including BMWBlog and GTspirit. He is particularly interested in the business side of the automotive industry.


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