And the winner is...
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS) has bestowed its TOP SAFETY PICK+ award on the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The award came as the midsize luxury car earned good ratings in all five of the Institute's crashworthiness evaluations -- small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints.
The vehicle also has a standard front crash prevention system that earns an advanced rating. An additional, optional system boosts the car's front crash prevention rating to superior.
The C-Class was redesigned for 2015, but IIHS only recently evaluated it for crashworthiness. The car's structure held up well in the challenging small overlap test with maximum intrusion into the occupant compartment of just 4 inches. The earlier generation of the C-Class had intrusion of 20 inches at the footrest and earned a marginal rating.
The roof strength test also yielded notable results. The C-Class was found to have a strength-to-weight ratio of 7, among the highest ever registered. A ratio of 4 or higher is required for a good rating. Roof strength is important for protection in a rollover crash.
To qualify for 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the five IIHS crashworthiness tests and an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.