Buick LaCrosse earns Top Safety Pick award [Video]

With headlights rated \'poor,\' the LaCrosse has been disqualified from the Top Safety Pick Plus club.

The 2017 Buick LaCrosse has earned a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The redesigned sedan earned 'good' ratings in all five crash scenarios. Maximum intrusion of four inches was measured at the footrest in the demanding small-overlap impact, while the airbags and seatbelt "worked reasonably well together" to minimize potential injuries.

General Motors' front-crash prevention system received a 'superior' judgement, completely avoiding a collision at 12 mph and lowering the impact speed to an average of just one mph when approaching an obstacle at 25 mph.

The revamped LaCrosse is noticeably absent from the Top Safety Pick Plus club. The IIHS implemented additional qualification criteria this year, requiring cars to earn a 'good' or 'acceptable' rating in a new headlight test. Unfortunately for GM, the program was formally announced just weeks after the 2017 LaCrosse debuted at the 2015 Los Angeles auto show.

"On the straightaway, [lowbeam] visibility was inadequate on both sides of the road," the IIHS report notes, giving the headlights a 'poor' rating. "On curves, visibility was good on the sharp right curve, fair on the gradual right curve and inadequate on both left curves."

The LaCrosse could be reconsidered for Top Safety Pick+ status if GM introduces better headlights, even if they are only available on a top trim level. The company has not yet announced such plans, however.

The IIHS currently lists no TSP+ honorees in the 'large cars' segment, and only the Toyota Avalon and Buick LaCrosse have qualified for the basic Top Safety Pick title. Buyers must step up to the 'large luxury cars' category for a Top Safety Pick+, including the Lexus RC and the Genesis G80 and G90.

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