Safety ratings for midsize luxury SUVs: Cadillac v. Lincoln

The IIHS gave both Lincoln and Cadillac SUV's top safety honors in 2017. The average cost to insure luxury SUV's is around 18% higher than normal vehicles.

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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...

  • The IIHS/HDLI has provided reliable and unbiased safety ratings for the Lincoln and Cadillac midsize luxury vehicles
  • These safety ratings can directly cause auto insurance costs to increase or decrease
  • Based on IIHS/HDLI safety ratings, Lincoln’s safety ratings for midsize luxury SUVs are essentially equal Cadillac’s

Shopping for a midsize luxury SUV can be an exciting experience but it also requires a lot of thought and research.

In order to find the safest option, you simply can’t rely on whatever the car company says about their own vehicle because they can easily provide you with information that’s skewed in their favor.

If you want to be sure that a car is really safe, you should consider the safety ratings provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Data Loss Institute (HDLI).

These safety ratings will determine how much lower your auto insurance rates will be because you chose a safer vehicle.

Compare car insurance rates right here by entering your zip code into our free rate comparison tool above.

IIHS/HLDI Safety Ratings


The IIHS/HDLI utilizes its vehicle research center in order to perform the appropriate tests on each vehicle. This study will focus on the Lincoln MKX, Lincoln MKT, Lincoln MKC, and Cadillac XT5 in order to reveal which midsize luxury SUV is the safest option.

The IIHS/HDLI focuses on:

  • crash avoidance and mitigation
  • child seat anchors
  • crashworthiness

These areas are broken down into categories which earn good, acceptable, marginal, or poor ratings. Front crash prevention, which is a category of crash avoidance and mitigation, is the only category that receives basic, advanced, and superior ratings.

All of these ratings can have a tremendous effect on the cost of insurance premiums which could be very important to the driver.


For most drivers, getting into a car accident is a nightmare, but knowing that you and your passengers will be well-protected in the event of a crash or collision can provide peace of mind. This protection of the passengers is how crashworthiness is determined.

The IIHS/HDLI uses the vehicle research center to test each vehicle’s sides, head restraints and seats, front small overlap, front moderate overlap, and roof strength.

The Lincoln MKC was unavailable for three of these tests but managed to earn “good” ratings for its sides and front moderate overlap.

The Lincoln MKT was unavailable for front small overlap testing but managed to earn “good” ratings for the four remaining tests. The Lincoln MKX and Cadillac XT5 both earned “good” ratings for every single testing category in crashworthiness.


Crash Avoidance & Mitigation

A vehicle that is less likely to crash is more likely to have lower auto insurance costs. This area of the IIHS/HDLI’s testing focuses on how well each vehicle’s safety features can help the driver avoid collisions.

The Lincoln MKT and MKC both earned the “basic” rating for front crash prevention while the Lincoln MKX and Cadillac XT5 both obtained “superior” ratings.

The Lincoln MKC was the only vehicle of the four to earn a “poor” rating for its headlights while the remaining vehicles all earned “marginal” ratings. The IIHS/HDLI further indicated that the Cadillac XT5 and Lincoln MKX both earned their ratings with optional equipment.

Child Seat Anchors

The child seat anchors area only has one category called LATCH, which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. At least two rear seating positions with full LATCH are required in most vehicles by federal law.

The IIHS/HDLI evaluates each vehicle’s hardware to see how easy it is to install child restraints. The Lincoln MKT and MKC both earned “marginal” ratings for their child seat anchors while the Lincoln MKX and Cadillac XT5 earned “acceptable” ratings for theirs.

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Top Safety Pick Awards


Each vehicle’s overall safety ratings are used to determine if they are worthy of one of the IIHS/HDLI’s Top Safety Pick awards or not. These awards only go to the safest options and serve as IIHS/HDLI’s seal of approval.

The Lincoln MKT and MKC did not receive any Top Safety Pick awards but the Lincoln MKX and Cadillac XT5 both managed to obtain 2017 Top Safety Pick awards.

Both Cadillac and Lincoln managed to produce IIHS/HDLI 2017 Top Safety Pick award-winning midsize luxury SUVs.

Because Cadillac only produced one midsize luxury SUV, it would be unfair to consider the remaining Lincoln models as safer options simply because there are more of them.

The Lincoln MKX and Cadillac XT5 both earned identical safety ratings for every single category which makes them equally safe options.

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