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Mercedes-Benz B-Class tops ANCAP ratings

Safe place to B: The Mercedes B-Class hatch has achieved the highest ever ANCAP crash score.

Almost perfect score for Mercedes B-Class as it achieves highest ANCAP score to date

17 May 2012

THE Mercedes-Benz B-Class small hatch has been awarded the highest crash test score ever recorded by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

The B-Class, which went on sale in Australia at the start of last month, scored an almost perfect 36.78 out of a possible 37 – a result the organisation called “ahead of its time”.

The five-star test score applies to all B-Class variants and exceeds the 36.59 points achieved last month by the Australian-built Toyota Aurion large sedan.

ANCAP chair Lauchlan McIntosh said the stellar result was partially because of the range of standard ‘safety assist technologies’ (SATs) fitted to the car, including a radar-based collision warning system.

“The ANCAP Rating Road Map progressively introduces minimum mandatory and additional SAT requirements over the coming years,” he said.

“Ahead of its time, however, the B-Class has scored beyond the current requirements to achieve this five-star result.” The crash testing organisation has said it will increasingly shift its focus onto active safety technologies as they become more widely available over the next few years, as part of its Road Map to 2016.

The full ANCAP report shows the B-Class achieved a perfect 16 out of 16 points in side impact crash tests and 15.78 out of 16 for the frontal offset tests, with only the ‘lower leg’ region failing to achieve top marks.

4 center imageFrom top: Mercedes-Benz B-Class, Euro NCAP testing of the B-Class and Viano van.

A further five bonus points were handed out for its performance in the pole test and the fitment of seatbelt reminders.

The B-Class attained only an ‘acceptable’ pedestrian impact rating of 20.12 out of 36.

The near-perfect crash result was carried over from Euro NCAP tests on a left-hand-drive diesel model conducted late last year, and weighed against ANCAP criteria.

The second-generation B-Class is the first car to be built off Mercedes’ new global MFA modular platform, and is sold in Australia in three variants – the B180 petrol ($38,950), B200 petrol ($43,950) and B200 diesel ($43,950).

ANCAP also awarded five stars to another new member of Mercedes’ model line-up, the eight-seat Valente people-mover released in March.

The Valente scored 32.66 out of 37 points, including an almost perfect 15.87 out of 16 in side impact tests.

However, it received a ‘poor’ pedestrian impact result of just 0.92 out of 36.

The result was carried over from Euro NCAP testing on a LHD version of the Viano passenger van on which the Valente is based. Based on the same data, Euro NCAP awarded the Viano/Valente only four stars.

The difference in ratings between the two organisations is due to the way test results are weighted, with the European model placing a greater emphasis on pedestrian protection.

ANCAP has said that over the next five years it will place more importance on pedestrian safety, with vehicles having to achieve a minimum set pedestrian impact score in order to achieve a five-star result.

According to Mr McIntosh, the latest results reinforce Benz’s position as one of the industry leaders in developing strong safety technology.

“As early as the 1950s, Mercedes was forging ahead in vehicle safety with the development of the passenger safety cell and, with the addition of modern-day SATs, this is a winning combination for consumers,” he said.

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