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

Acura and Cadillac mid-size SUV's received 5 star safety ratings from the IIHS in recent tests. Auto insurance can cost up to 18% more for some luxury SUV models.

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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: Nov 3, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Acura and Cadillac have both received safety ratings from the IIHS/HDLI based on their midsize luxury SUVs
  • Auto insurance costs can fluctuate depending on how safe a vehicle is perceived to be
  • According to the IIHS/HDLI safety ratings, Acura provides safer midsize luxury SUVs than Cadillac

There are many factors to consider when shopping for a new vehicle but safety should be at the top of the list. A safer vehicle can result in lower auto insurance rates, so many car companies take advantage of advertising their vehicles as safe options.

Information that comes directly from car companies can easily be skewed to gain profit.

Consumers can avoid being misled by biased safety ratings by using the ratings provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Data Loss Institute (HDLI).

Compare car insurance quotes right here to find the best rate for the coverage you need no matter which vehicle you drive.

IIHS/HLDI Safety Ratings


The IIHS/HDLI has a vehicle research center that it uses to perform tests on each vehicle. This study will focus on the 2017 models of the Acura MDX, Acura RDX , and Cadillac XT5 in order to reveal which manufacturer produces the safest midsize luxury SUVs.

The IIHS/HDLI evaluates the crashworthiness, crash avoidance and mitigation, and child seat of each vehicle and labels each area with one of the following ratings:

  • good
  • acceptable
  • marginal
  • poor

Unlike the rest of these areas, there is a section under crash avoidance and mitigation that earns the following ratings:

  • basic
  • advanced
  • superior

It would be beneficial to the driver to take all of these ratings into consideration before purchasing a vehicle because auto insurance premiums can be directly affected by them.


No one ever has the intention of getting into a car accident, but a vehicle that can keep its passengers safe during a crash or collision is how crashworthiness is determined.

The IIHS/HDLI evaluates every vehicle’s sides, front small overlap, head restraints and seats, roof strength, and front moderate overlap. The Acura MDX, RDX, and Cadillac XT5 all earned “good” ratings for every single area tested for crashworthiness.


Crash Avoidance & Mitigation

This category focuses on all of the safety features that can help the driver avoid getting into a crash. This is especially important to insurance companies because they’re more willing to cover vehicles that are less likely to crash.

All three vehicles earned “superior” ratings for front crash prevention but the Acura RDX earned its “superior” rating with a five out of six rather than the perfect scores received by the other two vehicles.

The Acura RDX and Cadillac XT5 also had indications that their ratings were earned with optional equipment.

For their headlights, both Acura models earned “acceptable” ratings. The Cadillac XT5 fell short of the other two with a “marginal” rating. The XT5 also earned this rating with the indication of optional equipment.

Child Seat Anchors

This category focuses on Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children or LATCH. Federal law requires most vehicles to have at least two rear seating positions with full LATCH, so the IIHS/HDLI was sure to include child seat anchors in their standard testing areas.

They basically test all of the necessary LATCH positions to evaluate how easy it would be for someone to install a car seat or child restraints using the vehicle’s hardware. All three vehicles earned “acceptable” ratings for their child seat anchors.

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Top Safety Pick Awards


All of the results that the Acura MDX, RDX, and Cadillac XT5 earned from the IIHS/HDLI’s tests are used to decide which vehicles will receive one of their Top Safety Pick awards. This is how the IIHS/HDLI marks the vehicles that they consider to be the overall safest options.

Although the Cadillac XT5 managed to earn a 2017 Top Safety Pick Award, it fell short of the 2017 Top Safety Pick+ awards that both Acura models obtained.

The Cadillac XT5, Acura RDX, and Acura MDX were all nearly identical in most testing areas. They all received perfect “good” ratings for crashworthiness, “superior” ratings for front crash prevention and “acceptable” ratings for child seat anchors.

The one area where Acura excelled over Cadillac was headlights. Because both Acura models managed to beat Cadillac’s “marginal” ratings, Acura has proven that it’s manufacturers produce safer midsize luxury SUVs.

Before you decide on any model, take the time to compare free online auto insurance quotes. Enter your zip code below to compare today and learn more here: where can I compare several affordable auto insurance rates.

Weigh each of your top local providers’ rates against one another to determine what is an affordable auto insurance plan for each type of coverage so you can drive off the dealership lot with the peace of mind.

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