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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash-tested the G Class in recent memory. We don't expect either agency to perform any tests any time soon, either, due to the G Class' extreme price and low sales volumes.
Mercedes-Benz fits the G Class with nearly all the safety gear it puts in other vehicles. Anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake force distribution along with stability control are standard in the 2013 G-Class, as are curtain airbags. Seat-mounted airbags are included, too.
The G Class' stability control and four-wheel-drive system provide more than an extra dose of safety when driving in heavy-duty or off-road situations. The stability system tailors its programming when towing, and of course, the G Class still has three locking differentials, which more advanced drivers can use to extract themselves from difficult terrain when lesser vehicles fail to proceed.A rearview camera and parking sensors are standard, and are useful since visibility is constrained at the rear, where a wide frame surrounding the rear window blocks out most of the view. Visibility is great, otherwise: since the G Class is designed for hardcore off-roading, its flat front end and sides leave almost no doubt where the corners of the vehicle are, and parking is easier than in almost any other big SUV as a result.
Mercedes also bundles more safety technology into the latest G Class, including its Tele Aid system, which provides emergency and theft-tracking services. LED daytime running lights are new, as are adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitors. Though it's not the first SUV that comes to mind when we recommend family-friendly vehicles, the G Class has the requisite front-seat airbag deactivation system and LATCH system for mounting child safety seats, and has a shoulder seat belt in the middle second row.
There's more safety tech than ever, including lane-departure warnings, a rearview camera, and adaptive cruise control.