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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
As one of the most expensive supercars offered by any luxury brand, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is understandably a no-show at the crash-test derby. Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has tested the SLS AMG, and they likely never will.
That said, the SLS AMG comes from a family of cars with a great reputation for safety, and the space-frame SLS has lots of crash protection built into its low, wide-track body. Six airbags are standard, along with traction control, not to mention the adjustable three-mode stability control. It comes in modes offering normal anti-spin control; Sport with some wheelspin allowed; and "off," which experts can engage at their own risk.
The SLS also comes with a rearview camera, rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitors, though it doesn't have the more exotic lane-keeping assist, attention-assist or head-up displays of some other Mercedes vehicles.Visibility is a concern in either body style. In the gullwing, there's virtually no clear view to the rear sides of the car, which makes those electronic aids a necessity. That's a bit better in the convertible, but with the decklid still as high as passengers' shoulders, there's still a less than optimal view to the quarters.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG has no crash-test scores to its credit, but its safety equipment and brand reputation earn our respect.