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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently tested the Mercedes-Benz R-Class and Lincoln MKZ, and both have earned the agency's Top Safety Pick rating for 2009. The 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class did very well in the frontal offset and side impact tests with "Good" ratings in both tests (models manufactured after 9/2008 with the standard side airbags). The 2010 Lincoln MKZ also performed admirably, earning "Good" ratings in both tests as well (models manufactured after 1/2007). In rear crash tests done by the IIHS, the Mercedes and Lincoln each received "Good" ratings. While the IIHS smashed both of the vehicles offset into a barrier at 40 mph, and hit each with a 3,300-pound side impact barrier moving at 31 mph, the agency's new roof strength crash testing has not been conducted on either model. See the short press release after the jump.

[Source: IIHS]

Mercedes R class and Lincoln MKZ earn Top Safety Pick award

The Mercedes R class, a large SUV, and the Lincoln MKZ, a midsize luxury car, are the Institute's newest 2009 Top Safety Pick award winners. To qualify for Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of good in the Institute's front, side, and rear tests and be equipped with electronic stability control. Criteria to win are tough because the award is intended to drive continued safety improvements such as top crash test ratings and the rapid addition of electronic stability control, which is standard on the R class and the MKZ.

"Recognizing vehicles at the head of the class for safety helps consumers distinguish the best overall choices without having to sort through multiple test results," says Institute president Adrian Lund.

The Top Safety Pick designation applies to 2009 R class models built after September, 2008, and 2010 MKZ models.

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