Photo of 2018 Kia Sorento courtesy of Kia.

Photo of 2018 Kia Sorento courtesy of Kia.

The 2018 model-year Kia Sorento, a mid-size SUV, has qualified for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick+ award, IIHS said.

The 2017 Sorento won the Top Safety Pick award but fell short of the “plus” designation because the vehicle came only with headlights that IIHS judged as “poor.”

Like the previous model, the new Sorento drew the highest rating possible — “good” — in all five IIHS crashworthiness tests. Those tests assess crashworthiness in small overlap front, moderate overlap front and side collisions, and also judge roof strength and head restraints.

Additionally, the SUV has an optional front crash prevention system that drew a “superior” rating from IIHS.

The 2018 model’s “acceptable”-rated headlights are on the SXL trim and on the SX trim when equipped with the Advanced Technology package. The “acceptable” rating applies only to vehicles built after May 2017. Other trim levels and all Sorentos produced earlier come with “poor”-rated headlights, IIHS pointed out.

To earn a 2017 Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle must have “good” ratings in all five crashworthiness tests, an “advanced” or “superior” rating for front crash prevention, and an “acceptable” or “good” headlight rating.