The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has announced that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is the latest recipient of the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ accolade. The award indicates that a vehicle has achieved a "good" rating for performance in the small and moderate front overlap, side, roof strength and seat/restraints evaluations.

The newer small front overlap test has been the biggest adjustment for automakers to make in the last year; IIHS started running those evaluations in 2012. The test attempts to mimic the damage caused by a real-world event similar to striking a telephone pole or tree with a vehicle's front, where shearing damage is likely to occur. Mercedes has strengthened the front door sills in the M-Class to meet the small-overlap criteria, beginning with models built after August of 2013.

The 2014 M-Class is also the very first Mercedes-Benz model to earn a TSP+ award from IIHS, though we doubt very much it will be the last. Scroll down to read the brief IIHS press release and to see a video of the testing.
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Mercedes-Benz M-Class earns IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ award

ARLINGTON, Va. - The 2014 Mercedes-Benz M-Class, a midsize luxury SUV, earns the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ award for good performance in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and seat/head restraint evaluations.

Mercedes reinforced the SUV's door sills to improve occupant protection in small overlap front crashes for models built after August 2013.

In the small overlap front test, the driver's space was maintained reasonably well. Injury measures recorded on the dummy indicated that injuries to the left lower leg would be possible in a crash of this severity, but the risk of significant injuries to other body regions would be low. The dummy's head made good contact with the front airbag, which stayed in position during the crash. The side curtain airbag deployed and had sufficient forward coverage to protect the head from contact with side structures and outside objects.

The Institute added the small overlap test to its lineup of vehicle safety evaluations last year. It replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or a utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph. A 50th percentile male Hybrid III dummy is belted in the driver seat.

The M-Class is the first Mercedes to earn the TOP SAFETY PICK+ award since the Institute began testing for small overlap protection in 2012. Winners must earn good ratings for occupant protection in 4 of 5 evaluations and no less than acceptable in the fifth test.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      DJEMiVT
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mercedes is kicking serious butt right now. Keep it up!
      action3500
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Mercedes has strengthened the front door sills in the M-Class to meat the small-overlap criteria. . . " MEAT it good
      Hazdaz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is this the Mercedes SUV that is based off a modified Jeep Grand Cherokee platform??
        traction_control
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Hazdaz
        You have it backwards. The Jeep Grand Cherokee uses a modified version of the Mercedes ML platform.
          traction_control
          • 1 Year Ago
          @traction_control
          Sorry, but, again you are wrong. The Grand Cherokee is based on the W166 Mercedes rear-wheel drive platform. The W166 was designed in-house at Mercedes-Benz. Chrysler (who owns Jeep) took the W166 platform and modified it for Jeep’s Grand Cherokee. Please do proper research and educate yourself.
          Hazdaz
          • 1 Year Ago
          @traction_control
          Jeep and Chrysler are the truck experts, M-B tasked them with designing the platform which they then decided to use themselves.
      Street King
      • 1 Year Ago
      The old ML outsold this new one almost 3:1. Everyone is replacing their old style ML with the new GL at lease return time because the new ML is so weird looking. Nice interior, but the exterior missed the mark big time..
        Tyler
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Street King
        Perhaps you should go back and look at the sales data to see how wrong you are. The last time the M-class ever sold anywhere near 3x time as much as it does now was back in the pre-2008 time period; NO luxury car is selling anywhere near the amount they were prior to the economy slow down. Back in 2006 Mercedes could easily sell 2,000 S-class models in a month; now if it sells ~900 in a month that means its the best selling model in the segment. If you look back at the data for the last 2 years of the last-gen W164's tenure it was selling a little under what the W166 is pulling in a month. It's doing fine.
      Bruce Lee
      • 1 Year Ago
      So why does MB get a pass on it's other vehicles not passing?
        sjmoo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bruce Lee
        They don't get a pass, it is simply that none of their vehicles have been tested. The only other Benz to undergo the small overlap is the C-Class. It only managed a Marginal. However, that is an 8-year old platform. You can be sure that in the 2015 model that will be remedied.
      ground
      • 1 Year Ago
      Huzzah for safe cars! Too bad it looks like a baboons backside.
      traction_control
      • 1 Year Ago
      It might have gotten a "good" rating, but the severe buckling of the floor under the dummy’s foot scares me. I’m sure there is a good chance of foot and ankle injuries. Might be able to walk away if the foot is not dislocated. All auto makers have gotten good at protecting the head and torso. Its time they focus on protecting the legs and feet.
      thecornfedmule
      • 1 Year Ago
      ....something's not quite.....right.....with the styling. I find them too sawed off front and rear, and for the most part fugly. Previous generation looked more harmonious...
        axiomatik
        • 1 Year Ago
        @thecornfedmule
        I agree, I really dislike the styling of the current version. The proportions remind me of the Hyundai Tuscon, the wheels/tires are too small for the body. It doesn't look like a luxury car, it looks kind of cheap, frankly.
      Jamie Elmhirst
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's homely
      Mike
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now they can join Mitsubishi and Subaru.
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