In frontal impact the C-Class earns four stars out of five—due to a four-star performance for passenger-side protection in the 35-mph, fixed-barrier test. And in side impact, the C-Class earns five stars, but that result is tempered with a four-star result in the rear-seat category.
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Those results might not be as lackluster as they sound. That’s because both four-star results pertain to tests where a ‘small-sized adult female’ dummy is used (the federal tests use both that and an average-sized adult-male dummy). There’s not enough information released with the tests to tell whether this is a systemic issue, or coincidental.
The 2015 C-Class already earns top ‘good’ results in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests, but it hasn’t yet been tested in the more stringent small-overlap frontal test. The IIHS says that it meets ‘basic’ front crash prevention standards, whether with these models’ standard Collision Prevention Assist Plus system or when optioned with the Pre-Safe Brake system, as part of the Driver Assistance Package.
Optioned as such, you can get Attention Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Parking Assist, various collision-prevention systems, and the Distronic Plus active cruise-control system with Steering Assist. It does actually steer to keep you in your lane, to cover momentary lapses.
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The C-Class is a global car, with the same structure and much of the same equipment across markets, so it’s worth weighing these imperfect results with this: It’s currently the top-rated sedan, and the top-rated sedan for occupant protection, in the Euro NCAP program. And that’s promising, ahead of an occupant-injury rating that’s been merely average, normalized for other factors, according to IIHS insurance-loss information.
The 2015 C-Class is a completely different car than the one it replaced, though—different, but better in nearly every respect, and one of our 2015 Best Car To Buy Nominees this past year. Its racier, more sculpted look, tempered with plenty of German formality, adds up to a styling-and-ambiance knockout. And from inside it’s lavish yet an engaging drive in all respects—a more complex and multi-layered, yet more vivid luxury sedan.
See our full review on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class for more on this luxury sedan’s safety features, as well as features, performance, and everything in between.