Lincoln, Mercedes, Toyota Vehicles Perform Well in IIHS Testing, Named Top Safety Pick+
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Lincoln, Mercedes, Toyota Vehicles Perform Well in IIHS Testing, Named Top Safety Pick+

options from ford, tesla, and chevrolet lag behind

july 11, 2017

Are you someone who loves a full-size sedan? If you are looking for the safest options from the 2017 class of vehicles, a recent report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) may be of particular interest.

The Lincoln Continental, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and the Toyota Avalon come out at the top of a group of six large cars recently evaluated by IIHS. The three cars qualify for Top Safety Pick+, the Institute's highest award.

Due to merely acceptable results in the small overlap front crash test, the Tesla Model S, the Chevrolet Impala, and the Ford Taurus lag behind.

"This group of large cars includes some with stellar ratings, but our small overlap front test remains a hurdle for some vehicles," notes David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer.

Top Safety Picks

Vehicles qualify for either the Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award if they have good ratings from IIHS in five crashworthiness tests — small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints — and an available front crash prevention system that earns a superior or advanced rating. To qualify for Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle also must come with good or acceptable headlights.


The 2017 Continental's optional front crash prevention system earned a superior rating. When equipped with the system, the car avoided collisions in IIHS track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph. The Continental's LED projector headlights earned a good rating, providing ample lighting on a straightaway and most kinds of curves.


The 2017 E-Class has two different front crash prevention systems, one standard and the other optional. Both earned superior ratings, avoiding collisions in the track tests at 12 and 25 mph and earning credit for forward collision warning that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) criteria.


The 2017 Avalon improved its headlight safety performance, allowing it to bump up from the Top Safety Pick(2016) to the Top Safety Pick+ designation.

See full IIHS crash test reports and auto safety ratings at