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

Mercedes-Benz and Buick luxury SUV models received safety honors from the IIHS in 2017. Auto insurance for luxury SUV's is around 18% higher than normal.

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

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 5, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Two Mercedes-Benz models and one Buick model received safety honors for 2017 in the midsize luxury vehicle class
  • No vehicle in this class scored perfect in all of the reviewed safety areas, but several were just shy of perfect in one or two categories
  • Safety data and numerous other vehicle-specific data are carefully reviewed each time you request a car insurance quote, and buying a safer SUV may help you to save money on your auto insurance premium

When you pick out the perfect midsize luxury SUV to buy, you understandably expect your high-end vehicle to have top ratings in various safety areas.

After all, you are paying for a superior vehicle, and you may simply assume that most luxury SUV models on the market today have similarly exceptional safety ratings.

Each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) analyzes critical safety details, and it recently reviewed more than a dozen vehicles in the midsize luxury SUV class.

You may be surprised to learn that several of the more popular luxury SUV models ranked highly and several others received very poor marks in some critical safety areas.

Your overall safety and well-being behind the wheel are directly affected by the safety features in your SUV. More than that, the safety features and capabilities of your SUV could influence your auto insurance premium.

With this in mind, you may be wondering if a Buick SUV or a Mercedes-Benz SUV is a safer option to consider for your upcoming purchase plans.

Compare car insurance quotes to see which of these vehicles offers the lowest insurance rates. Enter your zip code above to compare for free.

Analyzing the Buick Midsize Luxury SUV against the Mercedes-Benz Models

The Buick Envision, the Mercedes GLC, and the Mercedes GLE-Class are three of the 19 luxury midsize SUV models that were reviewed by IIHS in 2017.

Each of these vehicles was analyzed in eight safety categories, and these eight categories were categorized by three larger safety groups. The scores given by the IIHS in most of these various areas span from “good” to “poor.”


The Crashworthiness group is the largest safety area reviewed by the IIHS because it has five of the eight safety categories in it. This safety group explores how well each vehicle can protect its passengers from injuries or harm if the car is involved in a collision.

The two Mercedes-Benz vehicles analyzed by the IIHS for this vehicle class and the Buick Envision all received a “good” grade in all five of these areas.


Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

There are two smaller categories reviewed by the IIHS in the Crash Avoidance and Mitigation group, and these are:

  • Front Crash Prevention
  • Headlights

These categories indicate the vehicle’s overall ability to prevent accidents or to reduce their severity.

For Front Crash Prevention, the two Mercedes-Benz models received a “superior” rating, and the Buick model received an “average” grade. For Headlights, the Mercedez-Benz GLC was awarded a “good” grade, and the other two vehicles rated at the “average” level in this area.

LATCH Child Seat Anchors


For SUV buyers who plan to use child car seats regularly, the LATCH safety category of the IIHS analysis may be important.

This safety category indicates if the child car seat anchors were easy to use or not, bearing in mind that car seats must be properly installed to be as protective as possible.

The 2017 GLE-Class received a “good” rating while the GLC model from Mercedes-Benz had an “average” mark. The Buick Envision only garnered a “marginal” rate in this important area.

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

With so many safety categories to analyze before you decided which new SUV to purchase, it can be difficult to decide which vehicle is worth your attention and money.

The IIHS has simplified matters for you by finding at least one Top Safety Pick and at least one Top Safety Pick+ for each vehicle class it analyzes.

Both of these titles require the vehicle to have a top rating in Crashworthiness and Front Crash Prevention. The Top Safety Pick+ award also requires recipients to score “average” or better for the Headlights category.

While there were some differences in the IIHS safety ratings between these three vehicles, all three qualified for the honor of Top Safety Pick+ for 2017.

With 19 vehicles rated by IIHS in this category and with six models not receiving any honors, you can see that there may be three of the safest vehicles in this class.

Analyzing the Safety Results of Mercedes-Benz and Buick Models


The Buick Envision faltered in the areas of Latch and Headlights. The GLC also had a lower rating in the Latch area, and the GLE-Class has a lower rating in the Headlights category.

Depending on your unique safety concerns, you may be able to easily decide that one model is preferable for you in comparison to the others.

As you examine safety data, keep in mind that safety details are analyzed by insurance providers for each quote they create.

Auto insurance costs should be reviewed before you finalize your buying decision. After all, you want to buy a luxury SUV that is affordable to own and drive.

Now is the ideal time to request auto insurance quotes for the leading makes and models on your list. Enter your zip code below to get started comparing.

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

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