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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Good," frontal offset
Four stars, front impact; five stars, side impact
Includes hill assist and panic brake assist
For Mercedes-Benz's 2008 edition of the C-Class, safety remains both a priority and a hallmark of the lineup. Mercedes-Benz's reputation for safety is continued in the C-Class's safety features and supported by crash-test ratings.
When it comes to crash tests, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class performs very well in both the government's NHTSA testing and IIHS tests. After the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) subjected the Mercedes-Benz C-Class to its battery of tests, they awarded it four out of five stars for front impact protection and five stars for side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) corroborates those results, as the independent agency awards the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class its highest rating, "good," for frontal offset collisions. The frontal offset test is the only one conducted by the IIHS.
Mercedes-Benz knows that commendable crash-test ratings alone are not enough to make drivers feel safe, since they all would prefer not to put those ratings to the test themselves. To that end, Mercedes-Benz offers a wealth of safety features built into the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Mother Proof reviewers devote significant space to listing the "safety highlights of the C-Class," which "include a standard electronic stability system, active head restraints," and "adaptive braking that can tell the difference between a regular stop and a panic stop." Edmunds adds that the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes with "a full load of standard safety equipment, including front side airbags, full-length curtain airbags," and a convenient "brake drying" system that activates automatically when the windshield wipers start up.
Also aiding in the perennial quest to keep drivers from getting into accidents is the tremendous driver visibility on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Car and Driver raves about the "outstanding forward sightlines," while ConsumerGuide offers that "there's little problem seeing around the tall but narrow front headrests and slender rear roof pillars."
If not for the four-star rating in front impact tests, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class would be right at the top of the safety list.