Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class earn top marks from IIHS
|driving.ca 25 Apr 2021 at 10:16|
The 2021 Audi Q5, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class have earned the highest level of Top Safety Pick+ from the U.S. Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).
To earn the designation, a vehicle must score the top “Good” rating in all six crash tests by the IIHS. It must also be available with a front crash-prevention system that earns “Advanced” or “Superior” ratings in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests, and be equipped with headlights rated “Good” or “Acceptable” across all trims and packages.
The 2021 Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback received the award due to improved headlights, earning “Good” and “Acceptable” depending on the trim. A camera-based front crash prevention system is standard, and it earned “Superior” in vehicle-to-vehicle, and “Advanced” in vehicle-to-pedestrian.
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The Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan earns the top award when equipped with an available Active Brake Assist with Cross Traffic Function for emergency front braking. The IIHS said that the simpler Active Brake Assist only earned a basic rating, as it failed to slow the car in a test simulating an adult walking along the edge of the travel lane. The designation is also only for cars built after November 2020, when three types of headlights that met the IIHS standards became available.
In other news, the IIHS said that “evidence is growing that electric vehicles are at least as safe as conventional ones.”
The newly-launched 2021 Volvo XC40 has received the Top Safety Pick+ designation, while the new Ford Mustang Mache-E earned a Top Safety Pick award, missing the “plus” designation for LED headlamps on two trim levels that provided “inadequate illumination on some curves.” Earlier this year, the all-electric Audi e-tron, Audi e-tron Sportback, and Tesla Model 3 also earned Top Safety Pick+ awards.
The IIHS also reported that an updated analysis of insurance data showed that injury claims are “substantially less frequent” for battery-powered vehicles. A new study of electric and conventional versions of nine vehicles from 2011 to 2019, updated from a study initially done in 2017, showed that drivers and passengers had lower rates of injury claims in the electric models over the conventional ones. The IIHS said the result is similar to an earlier study of hybrid vehicles.
A possibility for the difference is that the large batteries used in electric and hybrid vehicles makes them substantially heavier than conventional models, and “occupants of heavier vehicles are exposed to lower forces in multi-vehicle crashes,” according to the IIHS.