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Is Lexus’s safety rating for midsize luxury SUVs better than Audi’s?

Things to remember...

  • Between Audi and Lexus midsize luxury SUVs, the safest models can be chosen with the aid of the IIHS/HDLI safety ratings
  • Auto insurance costs can vary depending on how safe these vehicles are
  • Overall, Lexus produces safer midsize luxury SUVs compared to Audi based on IIHS/HDLI safety ratings

Safety is usually a huge factor when it comes to choosing which midsize luxury SUV to purchase and how it will impact auto insurance.

Companies will do everything they can in order to convince the consumer that their vehicle is the best option.

Thanks to the tests and ratings provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), consumers can learn which midsize luxury SUV is the best option for them.

Vehicles can be awarded either the Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ depending on how well the IIHS/HLDI scores their safety.

Compare car insurance quotes by entering your zip code into our free rate comparison tool above. You can even compare quotes for the different vehicles you’re considering.

Table of Contents

IIHS/HLDI Safety Ratings

The IIHS/HDLI utilizes a combination of different tests in order to determine each vehicle’s safety rating. The focus of this article will compare and contrast the safety ratings of midsized luxury vehicles created by Lexus and Audi.

IIHS/HDLI’s results will be based on the testing of the following:

  • crashworthiness
  • crash avoidance and mitigation
  • child seat anchors

All of these areas will be rated with either a good, acceptable, marginal, or poor results.

The only tests that will not be rated in this way are specifically for front crash prevention which can be found in the category of crash avoidance and mitigation. This area will be rated from “basic” to “superior.”

The driver may benefit from knowing a vehicle’s safety ratings and how it may influence insurance premiums before purchasing.


Crashworthiness demonstrates how protected the vehicle’s passengers will be in the event of a collision or crash.

Both Lexus and Audi received “good” rating across the board for their crashworthiness.

All categories were available for this area of safety testing including front small overlap, front moderate overlap, side, roof strength, head restraints and seats. Both vehicles are seemingly equal when it comes to crashworthiness ratings.

Crash Avoidance & Mitigation

If a car includes safety features that will make the car less likely to crash, it will likely cause insurance rates to go down.

Although both vehicles earned “superior” ratings for front crash prevention, Audi slightly trails behind according to IIHS/HLDI.

The ratings of each vehicle’s headlights also show a slight difference between the two. Audi earned a “marginal” rating with optional equipment. Lexus surpasses Audi who earned an “acceptable” rating with optional equipment.

Crash avoidance and mitigation is a category in which Lexus manages to excel above Audi.

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Child Seat Anchors

Some parents buy midsize luxury SUVs in an effort to provide more safety for their children in the backseat.

As required by federal regulations, most vehicles need to have two or more seats with Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children or LATCH. 

The IIHS/HLDI rates each vehicle’s child seat anchors by evaluating the clearance angle, force, accessibility, and appearance of any other confusing hardware. They use these criteria to assess how easily child restraints can be installed with the vehicle’s hardware.

In this area, Lexus obtained a “good+” rating with an indication of extra LATCH positions. Audi’s “good” rating in this category doesn’t go without notice but it simply falls short of the standards set forth by Lexus.

Top Safety Pick Awards

A combination of ratings received from all of the aforementioned categories allows IIHS/HDLI to decide which vehicles will receive their Top Safety Pick awards.

This is basically their way of officially approving a vehicle’s safety measures. Audi managed to receive a 2017 Top Safety Pick award with its high safety ratings.

Lexus, however, received the 2017 Top Safety Pick+ award which is the most prestigious safety award that can be earned from IIHS/HLDI.

Which is safer?

Overall, both Audi and Lexus are considered very safe cars according to IIHS/HDLI.

They’re both on par with each other when it comes to crashworthiness, but Lexus seemed to score just a bit higher than Audi in all other categories. Lexus also managed to go above and beyond the required level of safety for child seat anchors.

Although they are very close in comparison, Lexus’s midsize luxury SUV is proven to be slightly safer than Audi’s.

Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool below to find the best rate for the coverage you need to protect the vehicle you drive.


  1. https://www.iii.org/article/what-determines-price-my-auto-insurance-policy
  2. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/about-us
  3. https://www.iii.org/article/how-can-i-save-money-auto-insurance
  4. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/crash-avoidance-features
  5. https://one.nhtsa.gov/Driving-Safety/Child-Safety-at-Parents-Central/Child-Passenger-Safety-%28CPS%29-%E2%80%93-LATCH
  6. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/v/class-summary/midsize-luxury-suvs

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