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.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class hasn't quite achieved top-notch ratings from the NHTSA or the IIHS, but so far its results are impressive.
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 of five stars.
All models offer numerous airbags, including pelvis airbags for the front row, a new window airbag, side airbags for the outboard rear seats, and a knee airbag for the driver.
The C-Class gained a slew of active-safety technology in its 2015 revamp, and some of the most interesting technological upgrades in the car come in that arena. There are electronic assists to warn of driver inattentiveness; to alert the driver of impending collisions (from speeds as low as 4 mph), and to automatically brake (from speeds as high as 124 mph); assistance to prevent rear-end collisions at speeds of up to 31 mph; and more.
The Distronic Plus system offers semi-autonomous traffic assistance, which is capable of following the vehicle ahead at speeds up to 37 mph—even in the absence of lane markers. Furthermore, an advanced brake assist system detects stationary vehicles or pedestrians, and automatically brakes to reduce the chance or prevent collisions entirely at up to 45 mph.
An enhanced lane-keeping system can hold the C-Class in its lane, applying the brakes along one side of the car to prevent unintentional drifting. Active parking assistance, surround-view cameras, and traffic sign assistance (which warns of speed limits, no-entry signs, and other information) are also part of the high-tech safety list.
In addition to its suite of advanced safety systems and optional driver assistance extras, the C-Class features a uni-body 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 thoroughly crash-tested.