The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+. The midsize luxury SUV moved up a notch from Top Safety Pick status after earning a good rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test and benefiting from improvements to its top-line headlights, according to the institute.
The Top Safety Pick+ status applies only to vehicles equipped with optional LED headlights and the optional Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function.
While undergoing the rigorous passenger-side test, the structure of the GLE held up reasonably well, notes IIHS. The passenger dummy's movement was well controlled by the safety belt and airbags, and measurements taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of injuries in a crash of this severity.
To qualify for a Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle must have good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It must also capture an acceptable or good rating in the passenger-side small overlap test and must have good-rated headlights. Finally, the vehicle is required to offer front crash prevention that earns an advanced or superior rating.
Starting with models built after March, Mercedes-Benz improved the optional LED headlights, resulting in an improvement from an acceptable rating to good. The base halogen headlights provide inadequate visibility and earn a poor rating.