Though it hasn't been crash-tested yet by either major agency, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class earns a high safety score because of the brand's reputation for great engineering, and a comprehensive list of safety features.
Neither the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) nor the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has yet tested the GL-Class; both organizations have changed the way they rate vehicles for the 2011 model year.
The GL includes a raft of equipment that gives drivers confidence in preventing and surviving accidents. Standard safety gear includes dual front, front- and rear-seat-mounted side, driver-knee and full-length curtain airbags; active headrests; anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control; and PRE-SAFE, which gauges an imminent accident and tightens seatbelts and locks doors before impact.
Adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, and a rearview camera are optional on the base trim levels and standard on the GL550, and recommended since the big SUV has some visibility issues to the rear quarters. Blind-spot detectors are now available; as the name suggests, they alert the driver with small lights on the mirror, when vehicles are approaching in the blind spots.