A large luxury car, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, captured the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s coveted Top Safety Pick+ award — the most esteemed safety recognition a vehicle can earn from the Institute.
IIHS notes that the award applies only to the sedans that are equipped with an optional front crash prevention system. Specifically, only 2021 E-Class vehicles outfitted with Active Brake Assist with Cross Traffic Function measure up to the “plus” status as this system earned superior ratings in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.
To garner a Top Safety Pick+ the 2021 E-Class underwent six serious crashworthiness evaluations. The sedan scored good ratings in all IIHS tests, a prerequisite for the award. These included the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.
IIHS is a stickler on headlights — as they are among the most basic and important of safety features. Top Safety Pick+ winners must come equipped with good or acceptable headlights across all trims and packages.
The “plus” award for the E-Class applies to vehicles built after November 2020. Models built after that date are available with three headlight variations — all of which measure up to IIHS exacting safety standards. Specifically, the curve-adaptive LED projectors with high beam assist offered with the Exterior Lighting package earn a good rating. The two other variations — static LED projectors with and without high beam assist — earn ratings of acceptable.