An independent organization, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has been crash testing vehicles for years and those that perform well can receive a Top Safety Pick award. Chevrolet’s first EV performed spectacularly and the Bolt received the designation by receiving a “Good” score in every crashworthiness test.
There are three categories of tests that each vehicle must go through; crashworthiness, crash avoidance and mitigation, and child seat anchors. Where the Bolt excelled is the crashworthiness category where cars are subjected to small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraints and seats tests. The highest score a model can receive is “Good” and the Bolt scored green across the board.
Where the Bolt was lacking, thus preventing it from receiving the Top Safety Pick+ award, was in the headlight and child seat anchor tests. In a Premier trim Bolt, the factory headlights created excessive glare when set to low beam and visibility was only fair on both left curves. Their second concern deals with how accessible the lower child seat anchors are; a bit too deep in the seat and too much attachment force is required.
At least the Bolt isn’t alone when it comes to headlight ratings. According to MotorTrend, of the midsized SUVs tested this month, two models had “Good” headlights, 12 had “Acceptable” headlights, and 23 had “Marginal” or “Poor” headlights.