The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class hasn't quite achieved top-notch ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but so far its results are impressive. The C-Class is built with safety in mind, from the ground up, and it builds on a strong reputation for safety that's been been reflected in its real-world record.
So far the C-Class has achieved top 'good' results from the IIHS in frontal and side impact, but it hasn't yet been tested in other categories, including the typically tougher small overlap frontal test. From the federal government, results for the C-Class reveal a mix of four- and five-star ratings, with an overall rating a somewhat lackluster four stars.
Pretty much the entire suite of Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive active-safety features are now offered in the C-Class -- and for the typical big-city-commuting C-Class customer, they’re probably better put to use here than in the flagship S-Class. Highlights include Attention Assist that warns you if you might be distracted or dozing off; Crosswind Assist; a Pre-Safe braking and pedestrian detection system; Collision Prevention Assist Plus; BAS Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist; and an Active Lane Keeping Assist system that will steer to keep you in your lane for some seconds before giving you a stern warning. There’s also Active Parking Assist, to almost effortlessly get into parallel spots. And with Distronic Plus with Steering Assist you get one of the best and most advanced active cruise control systems.
In addition to its suite of advanced safety systems and optional driver assistance extras, the 2015 C-Class features a unibody structure built from roughly half aluminum and half steel, much of the latter being high-strength steel. Attention paid to crumple zones to maximize energy absorption without intruding on the passenger compartment or key mechanical areas of the car, including the gas tank, should prove assets once the new C-Class is crash-tested.