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2020 Chevy Equinox's headlight tech nabs it a Top Safety Pick award

For a change, it's not the most expensive model that gets the safety nod from the IIHS.

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2020 Chevrolet Equinox

It won't cost a fortune for an Equinox with a Top Safety Pick award.

Chevrolet

For 2020, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the nod to the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox. The compact crossover is now a Top Safety Pick after new testing results took high-beam assist tech into account for the crossover's headlights. The revamped scores, published last week, pushed the Equinox into award territory.

Strangely enough, the range-topping model isn't the one that earns the accolade for the vehicle, but actually the volume-selling LT trim. More on that in a moment.

The 2020 Equinox passed the IIHS' crash tests with flying colors, earning Good ratings in all six areas. It also scored a Superior rating for its standard crash avoidance technology. Forward collision alert is present and automatic emergency braking avoided a collision at 12 mph. In the 25 mph test, the Equinox still struck the dummy vehicle, but it reduced the speed by 22 mph -- almost avoiding a crash altogether.

Up until now, the 2020 Equinox was in for a Top Safety Pick Plus with its scores, but even with improved headlights, the standard Top Safety Pick was all it could muster. The insurance industry-funded safety body gave the best-performing headlights an Acceptable rating to bestow the award. 

As mentioned, the LT trim is home to the best headlights offered on the Equinox, per IIHS testing. Yes, it bests the range-topping Premier trim's Marginal-rated LED headlights with HID projectors instead. While both headlights with the low beams flicked on never exceeded glare limits, the Premier model's LED headlights did not provide sufficient illumination on curved roads. On the contrary, the LT's HID projector headlights were "fair" on right curved, but inadequate in other curves.

The less L and LS trims also earned a Marginal rating with their standard halogen projectors.

Buyers will be looking at a $28,695 crossover SUV, after a $1,195 destination charge and before options, when checking out an Equinox LT with the Acceptable-rated headlights. That's far cheaper than the Premier model, which starts at $32,595 before other options.

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