Is Acura’s safety rating for midsize luxury SUVs better than Buick’s?

Acura and Buick SUV models received 5 star safety ratings from the IIHS in recent studies. For some luxury SUV models, the average rate of auto insurance is around 18% higher.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 25, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Two Acura SUV models and one Buick SUV model were honored by the IIHS with the award for 2017 Top Safety Pick+
  • Automobile safety details could play a role in your well-being on the road as well as in the cost of your auto insurance premium
  • The IIHS conducts a thorough safety review of vehicles each year in a wide range of classes, completing eight unique tests spread across three primary categories

Staying safe while you commute to work or tote your loved ones around town is undeniably a top priority, and you may assume that you would be as safe as possible by purchasing a midsize luxury SUV from a highly reputable automaker.

After all, these vehicles are presumably loaded with innovative features, and you may assume that this includes the best safety features on the market.

However, the test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 2017 reveal that there is considerable variation between the 19 midsize luxury SUV models that were reviewed.

You may be trying to decide between buying a 2017 Buick Envision, a 2017 Acura RDX, and a 2017 Acura MDX, which are all stylish and well-equipped vehicles.

These are some of the top luxury SUVs in the midsize class, but you should spend time carefully analyzing safety details and even getting auto insurance quotes before you make a final decision about which SUV is right for your needs.

Compare car insurance rates right here to find the best deal on the coverage you need.

Buick and Acura Midsize Luxury SUV Safety Test Results


The IIHS conducts a very thorough test of each vehicle in a specific class, and it has reviewed 19 vehicles in 2017 in the luxury midsize SUV class.

Each of these vehicles was carefully analyzed in three prime areas of safety, and the first two of these areas were broken down into smaller and more distinctive areas.

As you review the safety test results from the IIHS for the Buick and Acura models, you will notice that most categories have the following grades:

  • Good
  • Average
  • Marginal
  • Poor

You should be aware, however, that the Front Crash Prevention safety category uniquely rates vehicles from “basic” to “superior.”


The matter of crashworthiness is one that all vehicle buyers should pay close attention to because it features five tests that explore how well each vehicle can protect its passengers and driver from harm in a collision scenario.

Notably, all three of the Buick and Acura SUV models analyzed by the IIHS for this vehicle class received a “good” mark for all sections. These important safety sections include Side, Front Moderate Overlap, Front Side Overlap, Roof Strength, and Head Restraints and Sides.


Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Another important safety area that is reviewed by the IIHS is Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, and it features sub-categories of Headlights and Front Crash Prevention.

Through an analysis of these two sub-categories, you can learn how well an SUV can reduce the significance of an accident or even prevent it from happening. 

Both Acura models earned a “superior” grade for Front Crash Prevention, but the Buick model earned a slower lower rating of “advanced.” All three of these vehicles had a “good” rating for the Headlights sub-category.

LATCH for Child Seat Anchors

If you are one of many SUV buyers who plans to tote small children in your car, you understandably want to choose a car that has easy-to-use child seat safety anchors.

The LATCH category reviewed by the IIHS explores this factor in detail. For the LATCH safety category, the two Acura models reviewed were given an “average” grade, and the Buick Envision was given a “marginal” grade for the LATCH safety category.

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2017 Top Safety Pick and/or 2017 Top Safety Pick+


Of the 19 midsize luxury SUV models reviewed by the IIHS, eight of the vehicles with superior safety ratings in most or all areas received the title of Top Safety Pick+.

This unique honor indicates that the vehicle had a “good” rating in all areas of Crashworthiness as well as better ratings for the Headlights and Front Crash Prevention categories.

All three of the Buick and Acura SUV models reviewed by the IIHS for 2017 earned this top honor, and the majority of the vehicles rated had lower overall scores than all of these models.

Analyzing Safety Test Results for the Acura and Buick SUV Models

The two primary areas where the Buick model ranked lower than the two Acura SUV models for the 2017 IIHS safety review were in Front Crash Prevention and LATCH.

However, all three models overall had considerably high safety ratings compared to many other models that were analyzed by the IIHS.

You may feel confident about your safety when driving one of these SUV models or if you select one of the other vehicles that earned an honor from the IIHS.

The safety rating of your new vehicle can indicate how confident and protected you feel on the road, and it could even impact your auto insurance premium cost for your entire ownership period.

After you have narrowed down your options to a few top models, spend a few hours requesting and reviewing online auto insurance quotes. This will help you to find a model that has affordable auto insurance rates.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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