Midsize luxury SUV safety ratings: Mercedes-Benz v. Cadillac

The IIHS gave Mercedes-Benz 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 Reviews.com 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 Mercedez-Benz GLC and GLE-Class received top safety honors from the IIHS, and the Cadillac XT5 was also honored with a lesser safety award
  • Altogether, 19 vehicles in the midsize luxury SUV class were reviewed by the IIHS in 2017, and six of them were not honored for their safety features or abilities
  • The overall safety capabilities of your new SUV could affect your well-being on the road as well as your auto insurance premium

SUV buyers who are in the market for a midsize luxury SUV may expect their new vehicle to be loaded with innovative safety features. This assumption could make some luxury SUV drivers feel more confident and secure behind the wheel than they actually should feel.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) regularly publishes data about safety capabilities of different makes and models in various classes.

When you examine the IIHS findings for 2017 midsize luxury SUV models, you will see that some models rank very low in critical safety areas.

Your analysis and review of the IIHS safety ratings for vehicles in this class could help you to determine which vehicle will keep you and your loved ones safer on the road.

In addition, safety features can play a major role in your overall auto insurance premium, so these ratings could help you to save money on your insurance premium.

As you can see, there are multiple reasons to spend time learning more about which luxury midsize SUVs rank higher in critical IIHS safety areas.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the best rate for the coverage you need. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool above!

An Analysis of the Cadillac Midsize Luxury SUV and the Mercedes-Benz Models

The Cadillac XT5, the Mercedes-Benz GLC, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class are a few of the more popular vehicles in the midsize luxury SUV class, but the IIHS analyzed 19 models from various manufacturers when completing its ratings for 2017.

Altogether, the vehicles were rated in eight safety sections across three primary groups on a scale that ranges from “poor” up to “good.”


The first safety category reviewed by the IIHS is Crashworthiness, which has a total of five sections. They explore a vehicle’s overall ability to keep you and your loved ones safe from injuries if you are in an accident.

The five sections analyzed by the IIHS are:

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

The Cadillac model and the two Mercedes-Benz models all had a “good” grade in each of the five sections.


Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

The next safety category examined by the IIHS is Crash Avoidance and Mitigation, which features two sections and identifies a vehicle’s capabilities for reducing the severity of a collision or of preventing a collision altogether.

The three SUV models earned a high “superior” rating for Front Crash Prevention. However, while the GLC earned a “good” rating for the Headlights category, the GLE-Class had an “average” rating in this category.

The 2017 Cadillac XT5 only rated “marginal” in the Headlights category.

Child Seat Anchors


Many drivers buy a luxury SUV as a family vehicle, and you may have plans to transport young children in your new vehicle.

This LATCH safety category by the IIHS expresses how easy the child seat anchor latches are to use properly, and their proper use is critical to the safety of children in the car.

The XT5 and the GLC earned a decent “average” rating for the LATCH section, and the GLE-Class earned a “good” rating.

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

Many of the 19 vehicles in the luxury midsize SUV class were honored by the IIHS with a title of Top Safety Pick or otherwise Top Safety Pick+ for this year.

Both categories require high ratings in the Crashworthiness and Front Crash Prevention section, by the Top Safety Pick + also requires a high Headlights rating.

The two Mercedes-Benz models explored here are recipients of the Top Safety Pick+ honor, and the Cadillac XT5 has received the Top Safety Pick award for 2017. 

A Review of the Safety Results of Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac Models


Your primary goal may be to buy a safe, dependable vehicle in the luxury SUV class that has appealing style, and you can see that all three of these models earned great safety ratings and are among the top choices in this class based on safety.

However, the Cadillac model fell short of the Mercedes-Benz models in a few areas, including a very low Headlights score. Nonetheless, all three of these models ranked considerably higher than others in most of the safety categories analyzed by IIHS.

Keep in mind that safety ratings such as these from IIHS can indicate how safe and confident you feel on the road, and they can also impact your auto insurance rates.

Car insurance companies examine safety ratings as well as numerous other vehicle-related details to determine your auto insurance rates.

Because so many factors are reviewed and because these factors can vary substantially, it is wise to request multiple insurance quotes for the primary SUV models that you are thinking about buying. Enter your zip code below to get started comparing for free.

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