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'Poor' headlights had initially disqualified the 2018 Sorento from the highest safety award.

The 2018 Kia Sorento has qualified for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick Plus award.The 2017 edition was deemed worthy of Top Safety Pick status but its headlights earned a 'poor' rating, disqualifying the crossover from the TSP+ club after the IIHS implemented stricter standards this year.

Kia responded by introducing new optional headlights for the SX Advanced and SXL trim levels built after May 2017. The HID projector low-beams and halogen projector high-beams were deemed 'acceptable.'

"On the straightaway, visibility was fair on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was good on the sharp left and both right curves and fair on the gradual left curve," the IIHS wrote in its low-beam assessment, though the new lights did create "some glare" for oncoming drivers.

Other TSP+ winners in the midsize SUV category include the Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot.