2014 Infiniti Q70 Named Top Safety Pick+, BMW and Lincoln Flounder

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's stringent small front overlap crash test continues to flummox automakers. Three large luxury sedans—the Infiniti Q70, the BMW 5-Series, and the Lincoln MKS—are the latest to go under the IIHS microscope. While the Q70 managed to emerge with a Top Safety Pick+ rating, the BMW 5-Series and Lincoln MKS performed the worst of all seven large luxury cars the IIHS has tested for the 2014 rating cycle.

Thanks in part to changes made for the 2013 model year when the Infiniti Q70 was stilled badged as the M37/M56, the Q70 earned a Good rating in the small front overlap crash test. The cabin was maintained reasonably well, posing minimal risk to the dummy while keeping it in place so the airbags could do their jobs effectively. The Infiniti Q70 earned Good ratings in all subcategories with the exception of the structure and safety cage, which was deemed Acceptable. Collision warning is available on the 2014 Infiniti Q70 that the IIHS tested, earning it a Basic rating for front crash prevention that helps make it a Top Safety Pick+ winner, even though the automatic braking function did not work effectively during IIHS testing. As a result the Q70 does not receive Advanced status for front crash prevention, although the 2015 Q70 features an upgraded system that will be tested in the beginning of next year.

Pertaining to 2011-2015 BMW 5-Series vehicles, the IIHS deemed the luxury sedan's small front overlap crashworthiness "Marginal." A major detriment was the Marginal rating for the structure and safety cage. The driver space was not maintained well, with almost 12 inches of intrusion into the lower cabin near the footrest. Although the dummy's movement was well controlled, there was considerable risk for lower leg and foot damage (rated Poor) despite Good ratings in other injury risk subcategories.

By far the worst performer in the test, however, was the Lincoln MKS. As a result of a poorly maintained structure and safety cage, poor hip and thigh protection, and only Acceptable ratings for lower leg/foot protection and dummy movement, the Lincoln MKS was rated "Poor" for overall crashworthiness in a small front overlap incident. Like the 5-Series, the MKS experienced 12 inches of lower intrusion into the cabin, and about as much intrusion at the upper interior level, about even with the dummy's midsection. Furthermore, the steering column moved way off to the right, causing the dummy's head to slide off of the airbag and strike the dashboard.

Other large luxury vehicles tested, including the 2014 Acura RLX, 2015 Hyundai Genesis, 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and 2014 Volvo S80, all earned Top Safety Pick+ status.

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