Midsize luxury SUVs safety ratings: Mercedes-Benz v. Acura

All 2017 Mercedes-Benz and Acura mid-sized SUVs received high safety ratings from the IIHS. Auto insurance for luxury SUV's is around 18% higher than normal.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

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 Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 26, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • Safety ratings for midsize luxury SUVs issued by the IIHS can vary substantially, so research is essential when looking for the best car for you
  • All of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz and Acura SUVs received high safety ratings from the IIHS
  • The overall safety rating of your SUV can play a role in how much you pay for auto insurance throughout your years of ownership

When you drive in a luxury SUV, you can easily feel relaxed and even pampered by the incredible features and overall style of the car. This could potentially make some drivers feel safer than they actually are while driving on a daily basis.

Midsize luxury SUVs vary substantially in terms of safety features and capabilities.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has been reviewing many classes of vehicles for years with the goal of helping automakers identify the safety areas they need to improve on.

They have reviewed more than a dozen midsize luxury SUVs for 2017.

Mercedes-Benz and Acura are two of the more popular automakers for luxury SUVs, and you may have your eyes set on a few these eye-catching models.

Notably, all of the Acura and Mercedes-Benz vehicles in this class ranked on the higher end in terms of safety in comparison to many of the other vehicles reviewed, but there are some variations between these models that you should know about.

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Comparing Mercedes-Benz Midsize Luxury SUVs against Acura Models

In the midsize luxury SUV class, Mercedes-Benz is represented by the GLC and the GLE-Class, and the Acura is represented by the RDX and MDX models.

The IIHS regularly reviews its vehicles in three main safety areas, and these are comprised of eight sub-sections. Most of these sub-sections have a rating that spans from “good” to “poor.” Analyzing the safety test results may help you to find a safer vehicle to buy.


There are five sub-sections under the Crashworthiness safety category, and the IIHS uses this category to analyze a vehicle’s overall ability to keep passengers safe during an accident.

All four models analyzed by the IIHS from Mercedes-Benz and Acura obtained the highest mark possible of “good” in each of these five sub-sections. These categories include:

  • Side
  • Head Restraints and Seat
  • Front Small Overlap
  • Roof Strength
  • Front Moderate Overlap

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

There are two sub-sections under the Crash Avoidance and Mitigation category reviewed by IIHS, and these two sub-sections are used by the organization to explore how well a vehicle could prevent an accident or how it may reduce the severity of a collision.

Each of the four vehicles earned a “superior” mark for Front Crash Prevention in this category. The Mercedes-Benz GLC received a “good” mark for the Headlights category, and the other three vehicles had an “average” mark for Headlights.



The IIHS LATCH safety category examines how easy it is for drivers to properly use the latches for the child seat anchors in a vehicle. LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children.

A “good” mark was given to the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, and the other three models received an “average” mark for the LATCH category.

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

The IIHS honors the safest vehicles in each class with the Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ accolades.

The more advanced award is given to vehicles that earn “good” marks in all areas of Crashworthiness and “average” or better marks in all areas of Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

All four vehicles received the highest level of safety accomplishment available. Note that the Lexus RX, the Volvo XC60, the Buick Envision, and the Lexus NX each earned the highest level award as well, and you may also consider these when shopping for a safer SUV.

Determining if Mercedes-Benz Models Are Safer than Acura Models


Both Mercedes-Benz models reviewed by the IIHS for 2017 slightly edged out over the two Acura models in a couple of important areas, despite the fact that all won the Top Safety Pick+ award.

The two primary areas where the Mercedes-Benz models shone were in Latch and Headlights.

Certain categories of safety ratings may not matter as much to you such as LATCH if you don’t have children. However, if a car scores low in Crashworthiness or Crash Avoidance, you might face higher premiums.

Safety ratings play a role in insurance costs, so analyzing ratings and comparing quotes from multiple companies is a wise course of action to take before you head to the dealer’s and make a final choice.

Be aware that the safety ratings are not the only factor reviewed by insurance providers when you request a quote for your new midsize luxury SUV.

For example, many of the auto insurance providers may also review the following information about the vehicle:

  • engine power
  • theft statistics

Ultimately, you should spend time requesting insurance quotes for the specific midsize luxury SUVs that you have your eye on if you want to find a safe vehicle that you can rely on and afford to properly insure.

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