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2014 Mercedes M-Class Named "Top Safety Pick +" by IIHS

By Jeff Youngs,
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz M-Class has been named a "Top Safety Pick +" as a result of its "Good" ratings in all of the Institute's crashworthiness assessments, including the tough, new small overlap frontal-impact test. The IIHS says the new test replicates what happens if a vehicle's front left corner strikes a tree, utility pole, or an oncoming vehicle that has wandered over the center lane of a 2-lane street or highway.

The IIHS notes in its crash-test report that Mercedes reinforced the M-Class model's door sills to improve protection in such small overlap crashes. The changes are effective with production starting September 1, 2013.

Within the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the M-Class is the third-best-selling model behind the C-Class and the E-Class. Last redesigned for the 2012 model year, the M-Class lineup includes the ML350 with a V-6 engine, ML350 BlueTec with a turbo-diesel engine, ML550 with a V-8 engine, and the ML63 AMG, a high-powered performance model. All are designed to seat a maximum of 5 passengers, and prices start at $47,790.

The IIHS notes that the M-Class is the first Mercedes model to earn a "Top Safety Pick +" award. To date, the only other midsize luxury SUV to achieve this top rating is the Volvo XC60.

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