Fleet News

Mercedes-Benz C-class gains five stars in safety tests

THE Mercedes-Benz C-class has achieved a five-star Euro NCAP rating in the latest crash test result.

Its achievement is equalled only by the latest Renault Laguna – which was the first car to secure a five-star rating after it was tested in March 2001 – and gives it an important lead over other premium upper-medium saloons.

Other fleet favourites tested in the latest round include the Ford Mondeo, Opel Vectra and Jaguar X-type, all of which achieved four-star ratings.

The latest test includes seat-belt reminder assessment protocol, introduced in January, awarding a higher score if vehicles employ a visual and sound prompt when the seatbelt is not worn.

The C-class scored extra points for including a seat-belt reminder system as standard and its five-star rating gives the car an extra boost following price cuts and specification upgrades across the range.

Nick Ratcliffe, head of corporate sales at DaimlerChrysler, said: 'When we develop our products we put them through a rigorous crash test programme.

'The C-class has an impressive armoury of active and passive safety features, including ABS with ASR traction control, Brake Assist, ESP (Electronic Stability Program), two-stage front airbags, side impact and window airbags, and seat belt tensioners with force limiters. As a result of this, the C-class is an inherently safe vehicle in which to travel.'

However, manufacturers have been asked to take pedestrian safety more seriously after just one car tested – the British-built Honda CR-V – scored three stars for pedestrian safety.

Transport Minister David Jamieson welcomed the five-star rating for occupant protection of the C-class, and added: 'It is good to see that the Honda CR-V achieved three stars for pedestrian protection.

'However, the pedestrian rating scores for the other vehicles are still disappointing. I would like to see manufacturers do more in the important issue of pedestrian protection.'

Euro NCAP Crash Test

Family Cars
Mercedes C-class: five stars
Ford Mondeo: four stars
Jaguar X-Type: four stars
Vauxhall Vectra: four stars
Peugeot 607: four stars
Proton Impian: three stars

Superminis
Audi A2: four stars
BMW MINI: four stars
Vauxhall Corsa: four stars
VW Polo: four stars

Off-roaders
Honda CR-V: four stars
Range Rover: four stars
Jeep Cherokee: three stars
Vauxhall Frontera: three stars

Sports cars
Mazda MX-5: four stars
Mercedes SLK: four stars
Honda S-2000: four stars

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