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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
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safety features 'unsurpassed in this category'
Kelley Blue Book
Three stages of traction control
Like most ultra-luxury and exotic cars, the Mercedes SL roadsters are lacking in third-party safety ratings.
Neither the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) nor the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has tested the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class for crash safety.
However, the SL can rest comfortably on Mercedes' long history of safety innovations and performance. Each SL comes with dual front airbags and plus-sized side airbags that give a degree of head protection in a crash. A driver knee airbag is included, as is a pop-up roll bar that deploys automatically in the event of a rollover. . Anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control control are standard as well, and the AMG editions have performance-programmed stability control that allows more wheelspin in track-driving circumstances.
More safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control and parking sensors, but a lane-departure warning system, blind-spot warning systems and a rearview camera are missing from the list.
Mercedes' TeleAid emergency telematics, including automatic collision notification, are also standard.
With only a handful of high-tech omissions, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class gets high marks for safety.