Audi's 2019 A6 (shown) and Q8 have been named top safety picks by the Insurance Institute of...

Audi's 2019 A6 (shown) and Q8 have been named top safety picks by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

Photo courtesy of IIHS.

Two of Audi's 2019 vehicles, including its next-generation A6 midsize sedan and Q8 flagship crossover, have earned recognition from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as top safety picks when equipped with specific headlights.

While the A6 captured the Top Safety Pick+ award, Audi's Q8 garnered Top Safety Pick status.

Both vehicles demonstrated a strong performance in six rigorous IIHS crashworthiness evaluations. The A6 and the Q8 earned good ratings across the board — in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraint, and passenger-side small overlap front test.

To quality for either Top Safety Pick, vehicles also need an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and at least an acceptable headlight rating. To capture a Top Safety Pick+, vehicles must score a good headlight rating.

Both Audi models come with standard superior-rated front crash prevention systems, with both avoiding collisions in IIHS track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph.

As for headlights, the Audi A6 fared better than the Q8, which is what made the difference in the award tier each earned.

The A6 is available with three headlight options, two of which earn good ratings in IIHS evaluations. Both good-rated options, which come on the Premium Plus and Prestige trims, make use of high-beam assist, a system that automatically switches between high beams and low beams, depending on the presence of other vehicles.

However, the Q8's best-rated headlights — LED projectors with high-beam assist — that come on the Prestige trim or as an option on the Premium Plus trim earn just an acceptable rating in IIHS tests.

As for the base headlight options, the A6 earns only a marginal rating while the Q8's base headlights earn a poor rating, due largely to excessive glare from the low beams.

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