Is Lincoln’s safety rating for midsize luxury SUVs better than Audi’s?

When comparing midsize luxury SUVs and safety, the Lincoln MKX edges the Audi Q5 because of a slight difference in the Front Crash Prevention test.

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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 28, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • The IIHS performed extensive safety tests on three Lincoln models and one Audi model for the 2017 luxury midsize SUV class
  • The Lincoln MKX and the Audi Q5 were honored with the receipt of the Top Safety Pick for 2017 award
  • Two of the Lincoln SUV models analyzed by the IIHS in 2017 received rather low safety ratings in comparison to other SUVs in this class

If you are debating between buying the Audi Q5 and one of the three Lincoln SUV models in the luxury midsize SUV vehicle class in 2017, you may notice considerable similarities in their features, style, and more.

You may make the common assumption that the safety ratings for these four vehicles and other vehicles in this class would be similarly high overall.

After all, you assume the best possible driving experience when you buy a luxury vehicle, and this assumption extends into the area of safety.

Surprisingly, however, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) safety test results on these four vehicles from Audi and Lincoln indicate a large variation in multiple critical safety areas.

You may have plans to transport your family in your new SUV regularly or possibly to use the vehicle regularly for commuting back and forth to work. Make sure you’re getting the best rate with our free quote tool above today! 

Choosing a safer model is definitely a priority, and you need to pay close attention to the differences in the IIHS test results if you want to make the most thoughtful buying decision possible.

You should also keep in mind that safety ratings and statistics may be reviewed by auto insurance companies and could potentially affect your cost of auto insurance throughout the entire time that you own your new vehicle.

Reviewing the Lincoln SUVs and the Audi Q5

The Audi Q5, Lincoln MKX, Lincoln MKT, and Lincoln MKC were all compared in important safety areas in 2017 by the IIHS.

Altogether, eight unique safety tests were completed on each of these midsize luxury SUVs, and these eight tests were categorized into three larger safety groups.

To simplify the results for you, the IIHS has scored the results for seven of the eight safety categories as follows:

  • Good
  • Average
  • Marginal
  • Poor

For the eighth safety category, which is the Front Crash Prevention test, the vehicles could have a “superior” grade, an “advanced” grade, or a “basic” grade.


When you take a closer look at the large safety section of Crashworthiness, you will see that it is broken down into five categories, and it examines how effectively an SUV may protect its occupants from injuries in the event of a vehicular collision or accident.

The Lincoln MKC was only rated in the areas of Front Moderate Overlap and Side, and it had a “good” rating in these two areas.

The Lincoln MKT had a “good” rating for Front Moderate Overlap, Side, Roof Strength, and Head Restraints and Seats, but it did not receive a score for Front Small Overlap.

Both the Lincoln MKX and the Audi Q5 were tested in all five of these safety areas, and they both received a “good” score for all of them.

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Headlights safety areas analyze how well each SUV reviewed could avoid an accident or mitigate the overall severity of a collision.

The MKC and MKT had a “basic” Front Crash Prevention score, and the MKX and Q5 had a “superior” score in this safety area. The MKC has a “poor” Headlights score, and the other three SUVs analyzed by the IIHS were rated with a “marginal” score.


LATCH for the Child Seat Anchors

The ability to keep young children safe in a car seat may be important for many buyers, and the LATCH category from the IIHS analyzes the ease of use of the car seat anchors in each vehicle.

The Audi Q5 is the only one of these four vehicles to receive a “good” score for the LATCH area for 2017.

The MKX had an “average” rating for LATCH, and the other two Lincoln SUV models analyzed for this year only had a “marginal” rating.

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

If you are focused on making a safe buying decision when choosing your next luxury midsize SUV, you may be focused heavily on analyzing safety results and determining which vehicles received high honors from the IIHS.

To qualify for the 2017 Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ awards, the vehicles each had to get a “good” score in all five of the Crashworthiness tests and a higher score for the Front Crash Prevention test.

An “average” score or better for the Headlights safety test is also needed to qualify for the Top Safety Pick+ award.

Only the Audi Q5 and the Lincoln MKX received the IIHS award for Top Safety Pick in 2017. The other two Lincoln SUV models were not honored in this way.

However, other factors should be reviewed before you make a firm decision about which SUV to buy. For example, the cost of the SUV, its reliability, and more should be carefully reviewed as well.

Is Lincoln safer than Audi in 2017 for midsize luxury SUVs?

According to the IIHS test results, the Lincoln MKX ranks only slightly better than the Audi Q5 because of a slight difference in the Front Crash Prevention test, but the Q5 ranked higher in the LATCH category.

Both of these vehicles ranked substantially higher than the other two Lincoln SUV models analyzed in this class.

While you definitely need to find a safe SUV to drive regularly, you also need to ensure that the vehicle is affordable to own and drive.

In addition to the sales price, you need to analyze insurance quotes for each model that you are seriously thinking about buying.

Spend time gathering three to four online quotes today from reputable auto insurance companies for each SUV model, and you can more easily see which SUV is more affordable to insure overall. Don’t miss out on our free insurance comparison tool below! 

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