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2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Named Top Safety Pick+

According to the latest testing from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is tough enough to earn a Top Safety Pick+ award, joining the ML-Class as the second Mercedes-Benz to receive the accolade.

The IIHS reports that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class earned a "Good" rating in all categories, including the challenging front small-overlap test, as well as moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint crash tests. For its available forward collision warning system, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is also worthy of a "Basic" rating for front crash prevention, while models equipped with optional automatic braking in the event of an imminent crash get a "Superior" rating. The E-Class is the fourth large luxury car to meet the criteria, following the 2014 Acura RLX, 2015 Hyundai Genesis, and 2014 Volvo S80.

Criteria for the IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ were revised for 2014. Now, vehicles must receive at least "Good" in all basic categories except the front small-overlap test, in which "Acceptable" is a minimum requirement. For top-level Top Safety Pick+ status, vehicles are required to have an available front collision warning system.

We've seen how tough the new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety front small-overlap test has been for automakers. Toyota previously initiated a mid-cycle refresh for the Camry, RAV4, and Prius V in order to pass the front small-overlap test, which those vehicles previously failed. Honda took similar action so the 2014 Honda Odyssey would pass the rigorous crash test.

For this year's evaluation, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class received a strengthened footwell area to better protect the passenger compartment. While the move was effective, the seatbelt was still loose enough to allow the driver dummy's head to rotate substantially, striking the A-pillar. Still, the side curtain airbag deployed quickly and effectively enough to keep risk of serious injury low. (The new rating applies only to E-Class models built since January 2014, when the physical changes were implemented.)

Hopefully you don't have to test its safety capability first-hand, but be sure to watch the IIHS video of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class in the small front-overlap test.