2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Class Safety

9.0
Safety

Though neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash-tested the 2013 SL yet--frankly, we don't expect they ever will since it's a low-volume, high-priced roadster--the convertible comes with a long history of safety and a long list of crash-prevention technology.

All SL convertibles come standard with front airbags; side airbags that extend to protect the head and thorax; knee airbags; and pop-up roll bars that activate in a rollover accident. Anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control also are standard, as are active headlamps, LED daytime running lights, active headrests, wet-arm wiper blades, and Attention Assist, which monitors the driver for drowsiness and lights a coffee-cup icon on the dash when it's time for a caffeine break. Bluetooth is also a standard feature.

As usual, neither safety agency has crashed an SL roadster, but all the latest safety tech is available.

Among the SL's safety options are at least one--a rearview camera--that should be standard at this price point. Also on offer are parking sensors and park assist, which uses those sensors and electric power steering to angle the SL into a spot, while the driver maintains control over the brake.

Mercedes bundles a few of the latest safety technologies together in a $2,950 package. Active cruise control integrates with the braking system to detect when a collision is imminent, and to apply brakes to limit damage or to prevent it entirely. We're mixed on the utility of this kind of cruise control, and with the lane-keeping assist that comes along with it, but the blind-spot monitors that make up the trio add a valuable measure of safety.

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