With the IIHS constantly adjusting its requirements for its top-tier rating, automakers are finding it more and more difficult to earn the Top Safety Pick Plus rating. Recently, Lincoln and the IIHS announced that the all-new Continental has scored this coveted rating.
The Continental earned this rating thanks to its top-notch performance in all but one of the IIHS’ tests. The one test it didn’t ace was one that actually has no bearing on the Top Safety Pick Plus designation, and that’s the LATCH system’s ease of use — the Continental received only an acceptable rating in this.
In all five crash tests, the Continental received good ratings, including the tough-to-pass small-overlap test. Its available pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection system earned it a superior rating in the front-collision mitigation test, while its optional adaptive LED headlights gave it a good rating in the IIHS’ newest qualifier for the Top Safety Pick Plus designation, the headlight test.
One thing to keep in mind is that the items that qualified the Continental for this rating (the LED headlights and pre-collision assist) are options you can only get on the $54,075 Select trim level. The pre-collision assist is part of the $4,215 Technology Package, while the LED headlights are included with the $5,000 Luxury Package. This brings the total cost to $63,290.
While it’s not unusual for these features to be options, the Continental’s are worth mentioning because they add nearly $10,000 to the MSRP.
To receive the Top Safety Pick Plus rating, vehicles must receive good ratings in all five crash tests, a superior or advanced rating in the front-collision mitigation test, and a good or acceptable in the new headlight test.
Other large sedans joining the Continental in the Top Safety Pick Plus category are the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Toyota Avalon. The other three large sedans the institute tested, including the Ford Taurus, Chevy Impala, and Tesla Model S, all fell short with acceptable ratings in the small-overlap test.