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

The IIHS rated Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln SUV's "good" in crash-worthiness. 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: Nov 18, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • While there are many opinions on vehicle safety, the only reputable sources worthy of note are the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute
  • Both organizations are unbiased, so their findings are trustworthy
  • Only Mercedes-Benz holds Top Safety Pick + ratings
  • An SUV’s safety rating should always be a prime consideration when choosing a new vehicle

In today’s economy, driving a luxury SUV is a status symbol akin to wearing a Rolex or owning a home in San Jose, California. Sometimes it takes years to accumulate the kind of wealth necessary to make such a purchase.

Unfortunately, the joy of reaching that pinnacle often overshadows the fact that the trendiest and most expensive SUV may not be safe enough to be worth the expense.

Are you in the market for a midsize luxury SUV? Then you may be questioning which is safer, a Mercedes-Benz or a Lincoln. There is only one way to find out!

Check out safety ratings issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) working in conjunction with the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

Compare car insurance quotes for these two vehicle brands. Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool above to begin.

Why would an insurance institute be concerned with vehicle safety?


Someone in the market for a new car will often check out reviews in automotive magazines like Motor Trend, but that can be a grave error in judgment.

Bear in mind that publications like that, and others of its kind, are funded by advertisements. Who do you think pays for that advertising?

As new models are rolled out, advertising executives are paid to write sales copy that reads like an authentic review. Unfortunately, these writers are basing their evaluations on information fed to them in white papers from automobile manufacturers.

If you are looking for unbiased safety ratings, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is the place to turn for accurate data.

Their reports, safety ratings, and reviews are unbiased and, whether you know it or not, those insurance premiums you pay are largely proportionate to your vehicle’s IIHS safety rating.

Insurance on safe vehicles will be cheaper than on automobiles with known issues. That’s a fact of life in the insurance world.


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How does the IIHS score the safety of an SUV?

Now that you understand how to determine which luxury midsize SUVs are safest between Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln models, it’s time to look at how the Institute rates vehicles they assess. All vehicles must meet or exceed safety minimums in the areas of:

  • Crashworthiness
  • Crash Avoidance & Mitigation
  • Child Seat Anchors

Then, each of those categories will be further broken down to see how well each vehicle performs when tested.


Crashworthiness determines how well an SUV can withstand a direct impact on various parts of the vehicle. These tests include:

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

All vehicles receive a grade of Good (G), Acceptable (A), Marginal (M), or Poor (P).

Mercedes-Benz scored well in this area, receiving the TOP SAFETY PICK + honor with a score of “G” across the board. Lincoln also scored a “G” on all tests but didn’t fare as well in other areas such as in the Crash Avoidance & Mitigation tests.

Crash Avoidance & Mitigation


A vehicle’s design and technology are also important factors that can affect safety. Crash Avoidance & Mitigation tests:

  • Front Crash Prevention (forward collision warning and ABS testing)
  • Headlights on curved and straight roads

The headlight portion of the tests is scored Good (G), Acceptable (A), Marginal (M), or Poor (P) while the Front Crash Prevention receives a score of Basic, Advanced or Superior.

Both Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln SUVs received a Superior score on the Crash Prevention part of this series of tests, but only Mercedes-Benz scored a “G” on headlights. Lincoln received the Marginal score, setting it behind Mercedes-Benz in this area of safety testing.


Finally, the Child Seat Anchors (LATCH) test offers an assessment of such things as ease-of-use and extra LATCH positions for ultimate safety. For parents of children requiring car seats, this test should be of prime consideration.

All vehicles receive a LATCH grade of Good (G), Acceptable (A), Marginal (M), or Poor (P).

Both Mercedes-Benz models did well on this test, but unfortunately, Lincoln didn’t fare as well. Parents with young children may just find Mercedes to be safer for children requiring car seats.

How Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln SUVs Compare on the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICKS of 2017


If you are questioning which manufacturer offers the safer SUV, it’s best to look at the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICKS awards. This year, only Mercedes-Benz has SUVs on the TOP SAFETY PICKS + list.

The GLC model came in at the top of the list while the GLE-Class model came in third place of eight that made the grade. The Lincoln MKX rounded out in 11th place, so it is safe to say that the Mercedes-Benz models are the safer SUVs.

While it is important to shop for the best deal on car insurance, your safety is of ultimate importance. Luckily, you can have your cake and eat it too!

There is a direct correlation between safety and cost, so you can find the best insurance at a price you can afford on a trendy midsize luxury SUV.

Once again this year, Mercedes-Benz is at the head of the class.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the best rate for the coverage you need no matter which vehicle you decide to drive. Use our free rate tool below to get started.

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