• Newly updated Mercedes E-Class received Top Safety Pick+ rating
  • Sedan earned excellent scores in each of IIHS's tests
  • E-Class is only the fourth large luxury car to earn a Top Safety Pick+ rating

The newly updated 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has received the highest crash-safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). IIHS recently announced that the new E-Class has officially become the second Mercedes-Benz to earn the coveted Top Safety Pick+ distinction.

According to IIHS, the E-Class received the Top Safety Pick+ score by earning a Good crash-safety rating -- the nonprofit group's highest -- in each of its assessments. The agency currently puts vehicles though five tests: a small-overlap front test, a moderate-overlap front test, a side test, a roof-strength test and a head restraints and seats test. The small-overlap front test, which involves 25 percent of a car's frontal width striking a barrier at 40 miles per hour, has proven especially difficult for many new cars. The E-Class, however, aced the test without issue.

The E-Class also aced the final component of the Top Safety Pick+ rating, which involves a basic, advanced or superior rating for front-crash prevention. Thanks to its standard forward-collision alert system, the E-Class earned a basic rating -- while models equipped with the optional PRE-SAFE braking system garnered a superior score.

According to IIHS, the 2014 E-Class is the fourth large luxury car to earn a Top Safety Pick+ rating. Other recipients of the high score include the 2014 Acura RLX, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis and the 2014 Volvo S80. Admittedly, many luxury cars have not yet been tested under IIHS's latest rating system, which was updated for the 2014 model year to require Good scores in each of the agency's tests, plus Acceptable scores in the small-overlap front test.

In addition to joining three other luxury sedans with Top Safety Pick+ ratings, the latest E-Class also joins the brand's M-Class SUV, which earned the rating late last year. The 2014 E-Class is already on sale, with prices starting from $52,000 for a base-level E250 BlueTEC sedan and climbing well over $100,000 for a high-performance E63 AMG wagon.

What it means to you: IIHS's latest crash-test rating proves that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class remains one of the safest cars on the market.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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