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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s 2022 Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards are out. Among the annual car safety winners is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE in the midsize luxury SUV segment. The GLE is undeniably luxurious, with a polished look, potent engine, quiet cabin, and comfortable seating. 

So, did the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE win the highest award? We have all the details. 

The IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ winners for 2022

The IIHS recently released the winners of its Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards for 2022. Vehicles that perform best in the nonprofit organization’s rigorous crash testing and other safety evaluations earn these coveted awards. The IIHS announced its first Top Safety Pick awards back in 2006 and added the Top Safety Pick+ awards seven years later.

The IIHS tests various vehicle sizes in different categories. Because safety standards change over time, so do the safety criteria. That means the safety ratings for different model years of the same vehicle aren’t really comparable.

According to the IIHS, in 2023, the criteria will get even more demanding. Next year, all vehicles must earn a “good” score in the more rigorous side-impact test to win a TSP+ award. The test replicates a high-speed impact with a larger vehicle like an SUV or pickup truck. The updated test for 2023 will use a crash sled weighing 880 pounds more than the current one. And the IIHS will increase the simulation speed from 31 to 37 mph. 

To earn a TSP+ award, a vehicle must excel in all tests with at least a “good” rating. It must also achieve a front crash prevention rating of “advanced” or “superior” in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian scenarios. And to earn a TSP award, a vehicle must get a good rating in all crash evaluations, including the passenger-side small overlap front test.

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE won IIHS Top Safety Pick+, with a caveat

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE350 4MATIC | MBUSA

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE earned good ratings across the board in IIHS testing, earning it a Top Safety Pick+ award. To win TSP+, a vehicle must achieve an advanced or superior rating in both front crash prevention tests. However, the GLE earned that rating only when equipped with the optional Driver Assistance Package Plus because of its front crash prevention feature.

The package is available for all trim levels. It adds adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assistance. Plus, it includes evasive steering assist, making the forward collision mitigation system even better with steering-based collision avoidance. In addition, the package has speed limit assist (called road sign recognition by other automakers) that detects and displays the posted speed limit on the instrument panel and produces an alert if the vehicle is going faster than that.

Overview of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE is a study in luxury and comfort. It handles well and gracefully absorbs road blows. According to Consumer Reports, it also feels solid when cornering. However, the steering response is slow, and there’s a bit of body roll. 

GLE350 models have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 255 hp with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The GLE450 packs a turbocharged inline-six in a hybrid powertrain with a 48-volt electrical system and 362 hp. Both models have a nine-speed automatic transmission that doesn’t always shift smoothly, particularly in lower gears, CR says.

As for the interior, the cabin is quiet, serene, and as posh as one would expect from a Mercedes-Benz SUV. Long trips are no problem with supportive and comfortable front seats. Plus, there’s plenty of cargo space — but it uses such high-quality materials that you’ll want to be careful what you store there.

Additionally, CR’s testers didn’t care for the controls, which they found distracting and complex. They had to complete a frustrating number of steps to perform simple tasks such as adjusting the lumbar support on the driver’s seat. The Apple CarPlay compatibility (there’s no Android Auto) and voice command help, but the tech setup in the GLE isn’t on par with those in other luxury vehicles.

However, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE does safety well. It provides advanced features such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and forward-collision warning as standard equipment. And with the optional Driver Assistance Package Plus package, you get additional safety features and the IIHS TSP+ award.


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