The test requires that only 25% of a vehicle's front end is hitting a five-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph (64 km/h). Apparently this should show what happens to a car when it hits another vehicle or a tree or utility pole with one of its front corners.
According to the IIHS, Mercedes-Benz reinforced the ML's doors sills to improve the occupant protection in the aforementioned test on models built after August 2013.
After earning a good performance in the small overal front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and seat/head restraint evaluations, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz M-Class received the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. We're waiting for similar results from all the other 2014 and 2015 MY Mercedes-Benz models when they'll be tested.