One of the newest crossover SUVs in the Mercedes-Benz family now can be called one of the safest, provided it's outfitted with optional headlights.
The IIHS reported on Wednesday that the 2020 Mercedes GLE-Class SUV has earned its Top Safety Pick+ award, so long as the vehicle in question rolled off the Benz assembly line in Vance, Ala., after July 2019, and provided it's outfitted with adaptive headlights.
To earn the insurance industry-sponsored IIHS' top award, each vehicle has to crash well enough for a "Good" rating in small front-overlap tests on both the passenger and driver side, and must earn "Good" scores in tests that measure roof strength, side-impact protection, and head-restraint protection. Front crash-prevention systems such as forward-collision warnings and automatic emergency braking must get the IIHS' "Advanced" or "Superior" rating.
In addition, the agency requires vehicles to perform well in a relatively new headlight test. In the case of the 2020 GLE-Class, the base LED headlights merit an "Acceptable" rating. The upgraded LED headlights, which can pivot to follow the path of the vehicle, grab the "Good" score.
The IIHS notes that the GLE-Class' base crash-prevention system reduced impact speed in an accident by 14 mph on average in a 25-mph test; the optional system, with more sophisticated hardware, boosted safety performance and cut impact speed by 21 mph in a 25-mph test.
With the news, the 2020 GLE-Class retains its TCC Rating of 7.2 out of 10, with crash-test scores from the NHTSA still to come.