The IIHS tested 4 different headlight variations on the X1. The highest rating the X1 received was 'Moderate' with the halogen equipped X1 scoring a 'Poor'.
Among the 21 small SUVs tested there are 47 different headlight combinations available. More than two-thirds of them are rated poor, making this group of vehicles even more deficient when it comes to lighting than the midsize cars (see the F30 3 Series rating) that were the first to be rated earlier this year.
Headlight performance in today's vehicles varies widely. Government standards are based on laboratory tests, which don't accurately gauge performance in real-world driving. The issue merits attention because about half of traffic deaths occur either in the dark or around dawn or dusk.
As with midsize cars, the IIHS evaluations of small SUVs showed that a vehicle's price tag doesn't correspond to the quality of headlights. More modern lighting types, including high-intensity discharge (HID) and LED lamps, and curve-adaptive systems, which swivel in the direction of steering, also are no guarantee of good performance.
"Manufacturers aren't paying enough attention to the actual on-road performance of this basic equipment," says IIHS Senior Research Engineer Matthew Brumbelow. "We're optimistic that improvements will come quickly now that we've given automakers something to strive for."
IIHS test shows BMW F30 headlights are the worst in the world
For 2017, vehicles will need good or acceptable headlights in order to qualify for the Institute's highest award, TOP SAFETY PICK+.
BMW X1 IIHS headlight rating when equipped with Premium and Driver Assistance Plus packages
BMW X1 IIHS headlight rating when equipped with Premium package
BMW X1 IIHS headlight rating when equipped with Driver Assistance Plus package
BMW X1 IIHS headlight rating without any lighting packages (base halogen)