News - Mercedes-Benz - C-Class
Benz C-class a five-star car
The Renault Laguna is matched by Mercedes-Benz's C-class in Euro NCAP crash testing
25 Jun 2002
By BRUCE NEWTON
THE Mercedes-Benz C-class has become only the second vehicle to achieve the top rating of five stars in the European NCAP independent crash test program.
The result, announced overnight in Germany, means the Renault Laguna has been toppled from its perch as the only five-star ENCAP car.
The latest round of Euro NCAP testing was noteworthy not only for the Mercedes-Benz result, but also because off-roaders and sports cars were assessed for the first time.
Of the 17 vehicles tested, 13 reached the four-star category and only three attained three stars. Fifteen of the 17 vehicles are already sold in Australia or due to go on sale here soon.
Crucial to the C-class achieving five stars - one star better than when tested last year - was Mercedes-Benz being the first manufacturer to meet the new Euro NCAP seatbelt reminder protocol.
"The improvement by one star on the previous test result could be achieved alone by installing a system that contributes towards increasing the seatbelt usage for driver and front-seat passenger," said Dr Wilfried Klanner, the testing and technical manager for the German motorists association, ADAC.
"That's why the C-class scored two additional points now and so has reached - just enough total points for the five-star category."The result is validation of Mercedes-Benz safety claims that the C-class was designed to score a five-star crash test result, the car including technology from the S-class such as eight airbags.
Benz's response to the result will be interesting here as the local car industry has a gentlemen's agreement not to publicise NCAP results. But Renault decided to break the agreement when it launched the Laguna earlier this year.
Another stand-out performer was the Opel Corsa (sold here as the Holden Barina), which jumped from two stars to four stars from when the previous generation was tested in 1997.
The new generation VW Polo, which goes on sale in Australia in July, improved over its predecessor from three to four stars. BMW's new Mini also starred, debuting with four stars.
The Honda CR-V was by far the best performed in the pedestrian rating, scoring three out of a possible four stars. No other vehicle could manage more than one star.
At the disappointing end of the scale were the crash test three-star results for the Proton Impian (Waja here), Jeep Cherokee and Opel Frontera.
Euro NCAP includes tests for front, side and pole impact, and also gives information on pedestrian and child protection.
The front impact test is conducted at 64km/h into an off-set deformable barrier, the side impact test at 50km/h, the pole test at 25km/h and the pedestrian test at 40km/h.
Australian NCAP has adopted the same testing protocols as Europe.
Euro NCAP is conducted on behalf of various national transport departments, the European commission, ADAC and International Consumer Research and Testing (ICRT).
* The latest ANCAP small car crash tests are announced today. Go to www.goauto.com.au this afternoon for the full results.
NCAP RESULTSFamily Cars
Mercedes-Benz C-class 5 stars
Ford Mondeo 4 stars
Jaguar X-Type 4 stars
Opel Vectra 4 stars
Peugeot 607 4 stars
Proton Impian (Waja) 3 starsOff-roaders
Honda CR-V 4 stars
Range Rover 4 stars
Jeep Cherokee 3 stars
Opel Frontera 3 starsSports Cars
Mazda MX-5 4 stars
Mercedes-Benz SLK 4 stars
Honda S2000 4 starsSuper-Minis
Audi A2 4 stars
BMW Mini 4 stars
Opel Corsa (Barina) 4 stars
VW Polo 4 stars
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