Volkswagen Arteon scores IIHS Top Safety Pick award for 2021

It couldn't bring the Top Safety Pick Plus home because of its less-than-luxury headlights.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2021 Volkswagen Arteon

The 2021 VW Arteon is handsome and roomy, and now we know it's super safe too.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Voltswagen's -- sorry, Volkswagen's -- flagship 2021 Arteon sedan just scored itself one of the coveted Top Safety Pick awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety but couldn't manage to close the deal on the Top Safety Pick Plus award, according to an announcement made on Thursday by the IIHS.

Roadshow editors love the Arteon for a bunch of reasons, including its good looks, decent in-cabin tech and its surprisingly cavernous cargo capacity. Now we can love it because it's super safe too. The Arteon managed to ace all six of its IIHS crash tests and also comes standard with a front crash prevention system that scored Superior in vehicle-to-vehicle crash avoidance and Advanced in vehicle-to-pedestrian avoidance.

The Arteon even managed to crush things in the headlight category -- something which still manages to trip up many manufacturers -- with the LED projector headlights that come on the SEL R-Line and SEL Premium R-Line models being rated Good.

Unfortunately, VW seems to have decided to cheap out on the lesser trims' headlights, which were rated Poor by the IIHS. This means that the Arteon is not eligible for the Top Safety Pick Plus award, which requires that headlights rated Good or Acceptable come as standard on all trim levels.

Still, if you've had your eye on the Arteon but were waffling as to whether you should buy one, this safety rating might be just enough to convince you. 

2021 Volkswagen Arteon: A good car gets even better

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Watch this: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon Review: A serious luxury bargain