The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class a Top Safety Pick+ designation for models built after July 2019 and optioned with the Exterior Lighting Package. The IIHS said the GLE's standard, static LED headlights only achieved an "acceptable" rating, below the "good" rating needed for the "+" designation. The $900 package adds adaptive LED lights providing active curve illumination and automatic high beams. The Volkswagen Tiguan earned the same Top Safety Pick+ accolade with the same qualification, except the Tiguan also required an optional front crash prevention system.
In that respect, the 2020 GLE not only betters the Tiguan, it betters the 2019 GLE. Mercedes offers two crash prevention systems, a standard Pre-Safe system and an enhanced version in a $2,250 Driver Assistance Package Plus. Only the 2019 GLE with the additional safety package earned a TSP+ award. On the 2020 GLE, the IIHS said even the standard Pre-Safe achieved superior ratings. In the 12-mph impact test, the entry-level Pre-Safe lowered vehicle speed to 2 mph on average before collision, while Pre-Safe Plus avoided the collision. In the 25-mph impact test, Pre-Safe lowered vehicle speed to 11 mph on average at impact, Pre-Safe Plus lowered vehicle speed to 4 mph on average.
The 2020 received "good" ratings in the six other crash tests as part of the criteria, driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, and roof strength and head restraints.