Here’s Why The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Won The IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Award

August 3rd, 2018 by

Here’s Why The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Won The IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Award

Here’s Why The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Won The IIHS Top Safety Pick+ AwardThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded 19 cars and seven sport utility vehicles (SUVs) with a position in its prestigious Top Safety Pick+ list. Among the three SUVs shortlisted in the midsize luxury SUVs category, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV was one of the picks. The other two picks in the category were the 2018 BMX X3 and the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV.

Although the 2018 Acura MDX, BMW X3, Lexus RX, and Volvo XC60 were also given the top safety pick rating, none come close to the luxury and features offered by Mercedes-Benz.

This is a very positive development for the German auto manufacturer as the 2017 version of Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV was only in the Top Safety Pick list. Consequently, it broke through the premium Top Safety Pick+ list by making improvements to its headlights, from an acceptable rating to the highest rating. The change in headlights’ rating was due to the improvement in accuracy and intensity. The Top Safety Pick+ award extends to GLC vehicles manufactured after March this year.  

The LED headlights of the vehicle have received immense importance in the Top Safety Pick+ list because a car fails to achieve the safety benchmark, if the driver is not able to properly visualize the threat on the road at night.

In such a scenario, even the highest rating in six rigorous crashworthiness tests parameters of IIHS go into vain for a nomination in the Top Safety Pick+ list. Interestingly, the conventional halogen beams have continued to receive poor rating from IIHS like its predecessors, so it is integral for the buyer to select the correct headlight options at the time of purchase.  

The six crashworthiness tests comprise of passenger and driver-side small overlap front test, moderate overlap front test, side test, roof strength test along with head restraints and seats test. The GLE scored the highest rating in all these tests.

Among the six crashworthiness tests, the small overlap front on the driver and the passenger side is challenging because extreme force is placed on a small area of the vehicle’s front end. The power of the crash is not divided all over the SUV, which makes it integral for the auto manufacturer to have reinforcement in the front end of the car. The test replicates the situation of an incident where the vehicle hits a five-foot tall rigid barrier like a utility pole or a tree at a speed of 40 miles per hour (mph) with an average-size man positioned in the driving or passenger seat. During the test, the dummy of an average-size man is five feet and ten inches tall and weighs 170 pounds, with the protection of seat belts and airbags.

The Mercedes-Benz GLE is positioned between the GLC and GLS. The root of this class lies two decades ago, when Mercedes-Benz introduced the first generation of its M-Class. It continued till 2005 and then the second generation took over between 2006 and 2011. The current, third generation was introduced in 2012. The name change of M-Class to GLE took place in 2015 following the facelift version of the third generation.

The SUV can be anticipated to undergo a complete redesign as the arrival of the fourth generation seems imminent in a year or two. The Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV is available in 3.0L V6 biturbo and 4.7 V8 biturbo engines with 329 and 449 horsepower respectively. The GLE 400 and GLE 550 variants go from 0 to 100 km/h in 6 seconds and 5.1 seconds respectively. Meanwhile, the GLE 550e plugged-in hybrid version has an 85 kWh electric battery with a 3.0L V6 biturbo engine and it does 0-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds and comes with 436 combined horsepower.

Meanwhile, the Mercedes-AMG® GLE SUV variant comes with an AMG® -enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo and handcrafted AMG® 5.5L V8 biturbo engine. The AMG® GLE 43 and 63 variants offer 385 and 577 horsepower, respectively, and go from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds and 4.2 seconds.