Date registered: Jul 2006
Vehicle: 1990 W126 300SE - High Mileage Award
Location: MA, USA
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Volvo and Mercedes made, in my experience restoring both, equally safe automobiles until the 1990's. Mercedes produced larger vehicles during that time, so more Mercedes examples could be said to be safer, but models of equal size had similar safety features, used similar gauge steel, and were generally comparable in terms of crash readiness. Mercedes has always had the edge, in my mind, due to the S-class, a car which is inherently likely to be safer simply due to it's size. You do not need much knowledge in the area of physics to realize that, when two objects collide, the one with the higher mass has the advantage. The W126 had less safety features than a new Mini, but ram them head-on into one another, and let's just say I'd prefer to be seated in the W126.
As far as modern cars, I don't touch 'em, so I really can't say. I'd rather drive my recently deceased 1967 Volvo 1800S than any new Mercedes model, unless of course someone felt generous and gave me a production Ocean Drive for free!
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