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They're not exactly alone in that. It's a new test, and the manufacturers will build to pass the test. Whether that will result in actually making drivers safer will take years to learn.

Moreover, it will be interesting when they start testing other classes of vehicles. They started with luxury; let's see how well the econoboxes do.
 

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A strange test, the equivalent of running a small slice of the car against a cleaver. When two cars meet in an extremely offset head on, which is what the test is supposed to simulate, one does not have a shearing wedge buttressed by an immobile block of steel.

In reality, neither car has much in the way of structure or mass in the space between the engine and the fender well, so in an offset head on, each gives a little and the energy is dissipated more or less equally between them.

I'm not surprised the C got creamed... it's a cheap little car but that's a weird test.
 

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2007 GL450; 2012 E350 Wagon; 1995 E32000 SL500 sold sad!); 1999 CL500 sold sad;
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Angle Iron

One of the Internet videos did have a clear presentation as to why the Volvo did so well. They have integrated a nice steel bar/stamping under the fender from grille back to anchored to the base of the windshield and C pillar. Like the old junkers held together with angle iron (LOL).

So MB may well insert such a section. They did this with some of their models, to strengthen doors against side crashes a few years ago.

Truth be known, MI invented the offset crash test, since that is the most common accident, which the Fed govmt now terms "crashes"; I hate the bureaucratic non-sense.

In a gruesome smart aleck remark, next they will find that if your put your arm out the window and pass a phone pole, you will get amputated. But their tests are in earnest, so can't really complain, since modern cars are light years better in crash safety than 40 years ago.

But my first MB, a 1972 250/8 (an E class 2.8L) was dramatically ahead of the entire industry and esp., the feds (only MB did crash testing then) in the area of crash safety, front, rear, and roll-overs- the works. So MB doesn't have much, if anything, to apologize for. They take a back seat to no one in this area.
 

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W166, W251 Moderator
1987 560SL - Signal Red, 2014 ML350 - Diamond White, 2019 Ford Explorer - Magnetic (company car)
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Both VOLVO and former SAAB together with MB have done their own crash test from many years, but VOLVO and SAAB, have had a higher focus on different crashes, not only direct frontal crash, the first SAAB 9-5 (not old 95) did this offset with 25% and they used the fender as a crash barrier to absorb the energy, google search and you can see these test.
I'm not saying that MB is not a safe car, but it is not without reason that VOLVO actually passed this test.

Check this from German ADAC in 2009

 

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93 300E 2.8 (sold), 1998 E300DT, 1998 SLK230 kompressor
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Well, I have posted this to friends in a debate on this issue of the NIHS crash tests.
1. The specs may not have been given to all mfgrs at the same time (no one is telling).
2. The NIHS is NOT an objective group, since it is based in Detroit. There may be some hidden agenda here. (Note: I said "may".) Since the US mfgrs are based in the Detroit area, as well as a lot of Asian mfgrs who have located many plants here in the US, they may have a reason for allowing some mfgrs to pass the tests, while other, higher-end mfgrs like M-B, BMW & VW (they are all selling more cars in their classes than ever before, which is a threat to Asian and US mfgrs).
3. The ins cos here in the US see more, safer cars being built in the luxo market and economy market, coming from Europe, especially Germany, so the insurance rates will be lower. These ins. cos need to increase profits, so they devise a new standard which then rates these cars which were previously 4 & 5 star cars, to weed-out the ones they want to have higher insurance premiums on.

These points are only guesses from someone who sees the cars now being rated lower than the Euro tests, the mfgr tests and prior NIHS and US Fed tests, as being quite silly. I will continue to buy Benzes and VWs and and even though I am not a fan of BMW, I don't believe their cars are unsafe and worthy of a 2 star rating.

The new test is not one which sees any real-world validity. I cannot see how running into a blade in a corner actually proves anything. I would imagine that over 98% of all crashes occur at much less than 40mph and are frontal or from backing up into something which the driver never noticed. I would never expect to survive any crash in any car going 90+mph. I believe that roll-overs are survivable, but only to a point. Any high speed or incident which has a high level of g-force can rip apart arteries and blood vessels and make the brain mush in the cranial cavity. Only if the cars are designed like F1 tubs with an incredible amount of absorption of the impact (we're talking very high dollars to replicate this in any massed-produced road car) can the occupant survive high-speed crashes.

In the end, M-B is still a leader, if not THE leader, in complete road car safety.

If I could buy a newer Euro C-class with the 2.2L Bluetec diesel and manual trans for the US, at a decent price, including conversion and any US import taxes, I would do it in a heartbeat. We will likely be buying a PO E350 Bluetec next year or so, likely a 2011 model. And, whatever we buy, I will know it will be the safest and most efficient and one of the overall greenest cars in the world. (The M-B plants are some of the greenest in the world, which offsets the economy numbers over the life of the car and could even be better in that rating, than a Prius. If I wanted a Hybrid, I'd buy a Fusion Hybrid, but hybrids have green issues with their batteries and I just don't trust those voltages sitting inches away from the passengers. Now, Hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars? That's a different story altogether and I would like to see the industry move to that level ASAP.)

Keep the shiny side up...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A strange test, the equivalent of running a small slice of the car against a cleaver. When two cars meet in an extremely offset head on, which is what the test is supposed to simulate, one does not have a shearing wedge buttressed by an immobile block of steel.

In reality, neither car has much in the way of structure or mass in the space between the engine and the fender well, so in an offset head on, each gives a little and the energy is dissipated more or less equally between them.

I'm not surprised the C got creamed... it's a cheap little car but that's a weird test.
I wouldn't consider a C class "cheap little car". A Toyota Corolla is a "cheap little car", C class is an expensive little car. Its a small version of a S class. Whenever I spoken to a Mercedes salesperson, they've all said the same thing, its a Mercedes. Doesn't matter size or price, its a Mercedes.
 

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I won't waste your time or mine ....

detroit is doing anything to try ans survive in a market they are not able to compete in.
they have gone back to lawyers and marketing to save them.
all the good engineers are in europe and japan where they are listened to.

2 cents

B
 

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I don't know how many frontal collisions take place with a 20% offset. While it may be less than the number of frontal collisions that take place at 40%, they do happen. I don't object to this test, and the fact that ADAC raised this a few years back, suggests 20% offset crashes might be more frequent than we realise.

Perhaps some questions could be raised about the object the car has hit; would it be more representative of hitting another car if it too was a deformable barrier, much like the one used for the 40% test?

Finally, I'd be interested to hear what your thoughts on this test would have been if the C-Class achieved top marks...
 

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Mercedes Benz E200 (W210 - 1997)
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That was indeed a very strange test to perform. Hitting 25% of the front of the car at a stationary solid object at 40 miles (64 kmh) is some what unrealistic in my opinion. in most situations, the driver(s) would already have applied brakes and the resultant forces would be somewhat less. In previous test, the benchmark speed had been set at 50kmh and there was lots of debate when it was suggested to be increased to 60kmh.
 

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2015 C300 4Matic, 1978 240D
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Looking at the video I don't see how the Mercedes performed poorly. The Structure looks fine, the A-pillar barely bent at all, and the driver didn't come near to hitting the steering wheel. Actually, structurally the C250 looks like one of the best tested. The only thing I can think of is that the driver's head hit the A-pillar because it missed the airbag. It looks like Mercedes could leave the structure of the car the same and install a wider airbag, or trigger the side curtain airbags in a head on collision, and get a much better result.

As far as the test I'm all for it. You can't say "gah that test isn't fair!" just because it was a Mercedes that did badly. Safety will only improve if manufacturers have to meet higher standards.

Just to make everybody feel better, here's how the POS Audi did:

 

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2013 C250
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Yes, non-standard testing scenario.

And if the best premium cars did poorly, just think how bad regular cars will perform in this kind of test.
 

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W166, W251 Moderator
1987 560SL - Signal Red, 2014 ML350 - Diamond White, 2019 Ford Explorer - Magnetic (company car)
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Looking at the video I don't see how the Mercedes performed poorly. The Structure looks fine, the A-pillar barely bent at all, and the driver didn't come near to hitting the steering wheel. Actually, structurally the C250 looks like one of the best tested. The only thing I can think of is that the driver's head hit the A-pillar because it missed the airbag. It looks like Mercedes could leave the structure of the car the same and install a wider airbag, or trigger the side curtain airbags in a head on collision, and get a much better result.

As far as the test I'm all for it. You can't say "gah that test isn't fair!" just because it was a Mercedes that did badly. Safety will only improve if manufacturers have to meet higher standards.

Just to make everybody feel better, here's how the POS Audi did:

2012 Audi A4 small overlap test - YouTube
I think that the rating of the C-Class is correct, look at the footwell, the front wheel is coming thru, not good, but agree that the A pillar looks in better shape than others.

One thing for sure, this test will show who build the car for real life safety, like Volvo, or only to pass the old IIHS test.

Another thing to remember is that this is a test to a non deformable barrier like an old big tree, when hitting a non deformable barrier there is only one place to off load the energy, the car, the heavier the car, more energy is stored in it before impact.

I'm not too sure that a bigger car will fare better in this kind of test.
 
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