Acura, Mercedes, Mazda get top rating in IIHS collision prevention tests

Acura, Mercedes and Mazda made an impressive showing in the most recent IIHS testing of vehicles with front collision prevention technology.

More than a dozen of the 19 vehicles tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety earned a “superior” rating — the highest rating offered in this test, the IIHS reported today.

The institute rates vehicles as “basic,” “advanced” or “superior” depending on how they perform in tests at 12 mph and 25 mph.

The tested vehicles are equipped with collision warning or automatic braking systems, which can stop the vehicle to prevent a crash without driver intervention.

All four Acura models included in the testing — the MDX, RLX, ILX and RDX — achieved a “superior” rating.

Vehicles must feature a collision warning system and demonstrate an ability to brake at low speeds and at speeds as high as 25 mph in order to achieve a “superior” rating.

The Mercedes-Benz C class, E class and CLA also achieved the highest rating. Mercedes is the first automaker to offer a standard front crash prevention system that earns a “superior” rating, IIHS said. The German automaker’s collision prevention system is a standard feature on the 2015 C class, E class and CLA.

Mazda also performed well in the tests, proving that advanced automatic braking isn’t reserved for luxury vehicles. The CX-5 and Mazda6 both earned “superior” ratings.

“These braking systems first appeared in luxury vehicles, but lately we see it on more affordable cars, too,” IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby said in an interview. “What we see in this most recent test is that the systems we’re testing on the less expensive cars can be every bit as good as those on luxury models.”

The Volkswagen Golf, SportWagen, Toureg and Jetta and the BMW X3 all earned an “advanced” rating.

Forward collision warning systems that meet federal standards and automatic braking systems that provide only minimal speed reduction in IIHS tests earn an “advanced” rating.

Vehicles that earn basic ratings either don’t slow enough or fail to brake entirely, and have issues with the collision warning systems.

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