2018 VW Tiguan earns IIHS Top Safety Pick

The only thing holding it back from Top Safety Pick+? Headlights.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read

Headlight testing is one of the newest tricks in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's arsenal of vehicle assessments, and it's still tripping up a number of automakers, including Volkswagen .

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan was completely redesigned, and its latest iteration earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick accolade. In order to be eligible for this award, a vehicle must pass a battery of crash tests, and it must also score well in an evaluation of its crash-prevention technology.

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It might look like a lot of carnage, but all those bits of metal absorb the impact so the driver doesn't have to.


In terms of crash tests, the 2018 Tiguan did very well. It received a Good rating in every crash test, including the tricky small overlap front test. Every Tiguan prior to the 2018 model only achieved a rating of Marginal in the small overlap test, showing that VW made some serious adjustments to the new car in order to make sure it passed this test.

With its optional autonomous emergency braking system, the 2018 Tiguan received a Superior rating for its crash-prevention system. In a 12-mph test, the vehicle completely avoided a collision. In a 25-mph test, its speed was reduced by 24 mph, which was enough to earn full points.

As with many other vehicles, the only test to trip up the Tiguan was the headlight evaluation. The base Tiguan's halogen reflectors only earned a Marginal rating, due to inadequate visibility on all tests involving curves. The LED headlights of the Tiguan's top trim performed even worse, earning a Poor rating due to low-beam glare and inadequate visibility on both curves and straights.

The Tiguan joins several other VW vehicles on the IIHS' list of top performers, including the 2017 Golf, Golf Alltrack, Golf SportWagen, GTI, Passat, Atlas and Tiguan. The Jetta is the only Volkswagen to carry the Top Safety Pick+ designation.