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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
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Hill start assist, hill descent control and TeleAid are also included
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.
No official crash test scores are available, but the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class gets a high score for safety because of its ample standard safety gear.