ARLINGTON, Virginia — The restyled 2017 Lincoln MKZ midsize luxury sedan earned the 2016 Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after modifications to its front-end structure.
On sale now at Lincoln dealerships, the 2017 MKZ received a Good rating in the Institute's small-overlap front crash test, compared with an Acceptable rating for earlier models. The front end and bumper were improved to boost protection in front-impact crashes.
The small-overlap front crash test is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or hits an object like a tree or utility pole.
Award winners also must have an optional front-crash prevention system that earns an Advanced or Superior rating. The system in the 2017 MKZ earned a Superior rating.
"In IIHS track tests, the MKZ avoided collisions at 12 mph and 25 mph," the institute said in a statement.
The 2017 MKZ earned the highest five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It received four stars in the front crash test, five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the rollover crash test.
The rating applies to front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the 2017 MKZ.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes, traction control and stability control.
Optional safety equipment includes pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, a lane keeping system and blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers keeping score should note that the 2017 Audi A4 also earned the 2016 Top Safety Pick+ award. The 2017 Buick Regal and Lexus ES 350 have not been rated.