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2017 HID vs 2021 LED differences, according to IIHS. Do you concur?

mrmattolsen

Autocross Champion
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Car(s)
2015 GTI DSG
What amazes me is halogens are STILL stock on brand new cars 🤦🏼‍♂️
There's really nothing wrong with them in principle as long as the actual reflectors/projectors are decent. Halogens create a warm light which actually creates better visibility in poor weather (assuming they're bright enough). Unfortunately, too often halogens are used in "base" models where costs have been cut and so the overall headlights just plain suck.
 

avenali312

Autocross Champion
Location
Mableton, GA
Car(s)
2015 VW GTI
Best headlights I ever had were on my 2017 Mazda 3. The LED headlights system is fantastic. The projectors even turn with the car to help you see around corners.
I'm pretty sure my 2015 peasant spec S with LP does this as well haha. I have it set to "sport" in the MIB which makes the movement more noticeable.
 

swcrow

Autocross Champion
Location
Virginia
Car(s)
7.5
There's really nothing wrong with them in principle as long as the actual reflectors/projectors are decent. Halogens create a warm light which actually creates better visibility in poor weather (assuming they're bright enough). Unfortunately, too often halogens are used in "base" models where costs have been cut and so the overall headlights just plain suck.
That is what I was really getting at....the principle works and has for decades, but decent projectors aren't the norm. In a 40k car, I'd want more than a halogen....just sayin
 

Wastegate13

Autocross Champion
Location
SoFla
Halogens are criminal at this point in time. We mandate backup cameras because people can’t be bothered to check their surroundings before reversing over their kid but we’ll allow lights so poor that you can’t see 20 feet in front of you unless on a well lit road.
 

ndangrd

New member
Location
MN
Car(s)
2017 GTI SE DSG
I saw that the 2021 GTI LED headlights are only rated "A" for "Acceptable" by the IIHS. So, I looked up my 2017 SE, and the HIDs are rated "P" for "Poor"??? Really?? My wife's 2018 Civic (with only 23,000 mi) had headlights that were much worse (I upgraded them, of course.)
So... I was looking at the technical details... and the 2021 distances do indeed seem somewhat better than the 2017 distances. Has anybody driven both years, and noticed any difference? BTW, the 2017 high beams straight ahead seem to come up only slightly short of the "Optimal illumination", and likewise on a 150M and a 250M radius curve. The lows seem to be a bit short, "inadequate" on the gradual curve, but "fair" on the tighter curve.
The 2021 seemed to do better, except that the high beams were "inadequate" on both curves. In no instances do any of the headlights exceed "glare limits".

AHA!! Found the 2022 (MK8) because it is listed differently, not as a GTI but as a Golf GTI. Anyhow... the Autobahn trim is "Acceptable" due to the "High beam assist", the SE is "M" for "Marginal", since it doesn't have that. So, the low-beam curve scores are lower, but everything else looks similar to the Autobahn.

I've been happy with my 2017 SE headlights, at least in comparison with "normal" headlights. I drive on dark roads, so this matters, both low and high beams. I'm not saying that "Good enough is fine, I don't want better"... I've always upgraded my headlights (except these, which are already HID and pretty good). If there are upgrades available for the low beams, I'd consider that... if and when these beams go out.
my 17 SE HID's and fog lights were aimed too low when new. once I adjusted them up, the low beams were much better and the high beams were still good. with the coding to keep the fog lights on high beam, makes a difference on high beam too. my only frame of reference though is a MK7 Jetta SEL Premium, which has LED projectors. the low beams on the Jetta are good, especially with upgraded LED fog lights. the LED high beams however are nowhere near as good as the HID's imo. the HID's on the MK7 GTI don't exactly match the LED fog lights, but I also like having the ability to change/upgrade the HID bulbs. I'm not sure how easy it is to change or upgrade the LED's on the MK7.5's?!

I'm a little biased however since I prefer the aesthetic of the MK7 headlamp housing and how it matches the appearance of the taillamps...

I upgraded the HID's to OSRAM XENARC NIGHT BREAKER LASER D3S's which appear to be brighter than the factory Osram's it came with, which were near the end of their lifespan...
 

KevinC

Autocross Champion
Location
The land of Wyatt Earp & Doc Holliday
Car(s)
'19 Golf R, '21 M2c
Best headlights I ever had were on my 2017 Mazda 3. The LED headlights system is fantastic. The projectors even turn with the car to help you see around corners.
My wife had an '18 3 for a while with the LEDs, and I agree, they were FANTASTIC. Far superior to the ones on my R or my M2. What was not so great was the high beam assist on that car - it had a bad habit of changing its mind rapidly, which would result in it flashing people with highs then immediately bringing them back down, so I quit using the feature. But the lighting - best I've seen yet.
 

Nineeightyone

Autocross Champion
Location
USA
Car(s)
19 GTI 10 MZ3
My 19 S lights were nearly as awful as the lights on the 04 Jetta, which were new Depo OEM replacements. The halogens on my '10 Mazda3 blew them away, as did my wife's halogens on her '18 Mazda3. The upgrade to Ed's reps was worth every penny, even though I have mild issues with PA inspection because the housings don't have the little corner marker lights.
 

acoustic_

Ready to race!
Location
NJ
Car(s)
2018 Golf R
My MK7.5 2018 R is the first car I've ever owned with non Halogen lights. I love it. As far as I understand, with a VCDS or OBD11, you can code in the auto high-beams? I might try doing that when I get some time to research it better. I'm not sure whether to get a VCDS with the wireless ability, the wired VCDS, or an OBD11. I have the R, and my fiance has a 2020 Jetta. Figured I can use it for both.. just not sure which to get.
 

gixxerfool

Autocross Champion
Location
New Jersey
Car(s)
2016 Golf R
My MK7.5 2018 R is the first car I've ever owned with non Halogen lights. I love it. As far as I understand, with a VCDS or OBD11, you can code in the auto high-beams? I might try doing that when I get some time to research it better. I'm not sure whether to get a VCDS with the wireless ability, the wired VCDS, or an OBD11. I have the R, and my fiance has a 2020 Jetta. Figured I can use it for both.. just not sure which to get.
Not to derail, there are pros and cons of both. I own both, Humblemechanic recently did a video comparing the two.
 

Nineeightyone

Autocross Champion
Location
USA
Car(s)
19 GTI 10 MZ3
Not to derail, there are pros and cons of both. I own both, Humblemechanic recently did a video comparing the two.
I'm a bigger fan of the VCDS pricing model, and bought a 10-VIN cable. No issues to complain of, and support is great via their forum. I will say, the clones aren't worth it. I had several crappy clones and each time they gave me all sorts of weird issues, the real thing is worth the money.
 

acoustic_

Ready to race!
Location
NJ
Car(s)
2018 Golf R
Not to derail, there are pros and cons of both. I own both, Humblemechanic recently did a video comparing the two.

Thanks for the reference, I'll check that video out! Still learning the VW world.. this is my first time.

Euro LED taillights at some point are in my future.. :)

Anyway, back on topic. LED headlights are awesome
 

Chogokin

Autocross Champion
Location
So Cal
Car(s)
GTI Sport | Audi A3
I dunno...the lights on my 17 Sport with the LP look pretty good to me. The lights are bright with a clean cutoff. On a dark four lane highway...it'll light up almost all lanes. They also move when I turn. I like the cornering lamp that come on if I turn the wheel far enough. I also have a 2008 Audi A3. Those are halogen. Compared to the HIDs in the Mk7...they are pretty dim...but at the same time...I've never felt like they weren't bright enough.

I had an 2002 B5 S4 and 2006 BMW 323 back in the day. The S4 HIDs were not that good...they always looked dim to me. The BMW ones were really good. I would say they are as good or better than the LP lights on my Mk7. The 3 series had the adaptive lights too.

My GF has a Cooper S with the factory HIDs. Those seem pretty good too.

So far I've never paid too much attention to the headlights on my car...and that's a good thing.

The truly bad lights I've ever had on a car to where I thought to myself...wow...these lights really suck...were on my Corrado VR6. The US spec lights were in another level of bad. They were some low power yellow-ish looking dingy lights. I replaced them with the Euro VR6 lights with the H4 bulbs and a relayed harness. That was a massive improvement. The grounds on that car were also on another level of bad.
 

Jonnyr6

Ready to race!
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
2017 golf R
Halogens are criminal at this point in time. We mandate backup cameras because people can’t be bothered to check their surroundings before reversing over their kid but we’ll allow lights so poor that you can’t see 20 feet in front of you unless on a well lit road.
Ive only ever experienced lights you're describing in a car that was 18 years old with shitty bulbs and had oxidation on the lenses. I could still see 20 feet in front of the car though so to say newer cars with halogens shouldn't be allowed is really over exaggerated
 
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