- Photo courtesy of Kia.

Photo courtesy of Kia.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the 2018 Kia Rio its prestigious Top Safety Pick+ designation when the subcompact car is outfitted with frontal crash prevention and newly available good-rated LED headlights.

The Kia Rio performed well in five of the institute's crashworthiness tests. It scored good ratings across the board — specifically, in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. In addition, the Rio earned an acceptable rating in the passenger-side small overlap test — the minimal criteria required on this particular test in order to capture plus status.

The car's front crash prevention also met the institute's standard for the plus designation. Finally, the Kia Rio's LED headlights, available with the optional technology package on Rios built after June, earn a good rating. The low beams provided good visibility in the test scenarios, though they produced some glare for drivers of oncoming vehicles. The high beams only provide additional visibility on the left side of the straightaway.

All Rios without the technology package come with halogen headlights that are rated poor, and therefore Rios equipped with those do not earn the plus status, according to the institute.

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