Top Safety Pick

2009 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

midsize luxury car / 4-door sedan

2009 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4-door sedan


Rating overview
Moderate overlap front
Roof strength
Head restraints & seats

Other available safety features

  • Standard daytime running lights


  • G
  • A
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  • P
  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

Some ratings use a scale of Poor to Good. Others range from Basic to Superior.

Moderate overlap front

Rating applies to 2008-09 models

Tested vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4-door

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was redesigned for the 2008 model year. Two moderate overlap frontal tests of the C-Class were conducted, one by the Institute and the other by Mercedes-Benz as part of frontal crash test verification. The overall rating of Good is based on review of both tests, which independently result in overall ratings of Good. The ratings, photos, and videos from the Institute’s test are shown.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics

Action shot taken during the Institute's moderate overlap frontal crash test.

The dummy's position in relation to the steering wheel and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was maintained very well (Institute test car shown).

Dummy movement was well controlled in both tests. During rebound, the dummy's head hit the roof rail, as indicated by smeared greasepaint in the Institute's test.

Forces on the left knee were high enough to indicate the possibility of injury in the Institute's test (shown). In Mercedes' test, forces on the right lower leg were just above the threshold indicating the possibility of injuries.

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID VTF0716 CEF0804
Footwell intrusion
Footrest (cm) 0 1
Left (cm) 1 2
Center (cm) 1 2
Right (cm) 1 2
Brake pedal (cm) 1 2
Instrument panel rearward movement
Left (cm) 0 0
Right (cm) 0 0
Steering column movement
Upward (cm) -3 -3
Rearward (cm) -4 -8
A-pillar rearward movement (cm) 0 0

Driver injury measures

Test ID VTF0716 CEF0804
HIC-15 208 166
Peak gs at hard contact 47 32
Tension (kN) 1.1 0.9
Extension bending moment (Nm) 15 6
Maximum Nij 0.38 0.27
Chest maximum compression (mm) 33 30
Femur force - left (kN) 3.8 3.3
Femur force - right (kN) 3.3 1.7
Knee displacement - left (mm) 6 14
Knee displacement - right (mm) 11 10
Maximum tibia index - left 0.35 0.62
Maximum tibia index - right 0.81 0.70
Tibia axial force - left (kN) 2.2 2.1
Tibia axial force - right (kN) 3.6 2.5
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 73 77
Right 86 47

How the moderate overlap front test is conducted


Rating applies to 2009-14 models

Tested vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4-door with standard front and rear head curtain airbags and standard front seat-mounted torso/pelvis airbags

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was redesigned for the 2008 model year. Beginning with 2009 models, the front-seat mounted side torso airbags were modified to include an additional chamber to protect the pelvis in side-impact crashes.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Driver head protection
Rear passenger injury measures
Rear passenger head protection

View of the vehicle and barrier just after the crash test.

View of the vehicle after the crash with doors removed, showing the side airbags and damage to the occupant compartment.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the driver dummy's head was protected from being hit by hard structures by the side airbags.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the rear passenger dummy’s head was protected by the side airbag.

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CES0842
B-pillar to longitudinal centerline of driver's seat (cm) -20.5
Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline.

Driver injury measures

Test ID CES0842
Head HIC-15 165
Tension (kN) 0.8
Compression (kN) 0.4
Lateral deflection (mm) 44
Lateral force (kN) 1.6
Maximum deflection (mm) 35
Average deflection (mm) 30
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 2.97
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.45
Iliac force (kN) 2.0
Acetabulum force (kN) 2.2
Combined force (kN) 3.8
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 0.1
L-M moment (Nm) 74
A-P moment (Nm) 40

Passenger injury measures

Test ID CES0842
Head HIC-15 155
Tension (kN) 0.5
Compression (kN) 0.5
Lateral deflection (mm) 15
Lateral force (kN) 0.9
Maximum deflection (mm) 17
Average deflection (mm) 13
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 2.17
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.19
Iliac force (kN) 1.6
Acetabulum force (kN) 1.0
Combined force (kN) 2.6
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 0.6
L-M moment (Nm) 89
A-P moment (Nm) -48

How the side crash test is conducted

Roof strength

Rating applies to 2008-14 models

Tested vehicle: 2010 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4-door

Overall evaluation
Curb weight 3,510 lbs
Peak force 18,826 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 5.36

How the roof strength test is conducted

Head restraints & seats

Seat type: Power leather seats AHR

Overall evaluation
Dynamic rating
Seat/head restraint geometry
Technical measurements for this test
Seat type Power leather seats AHR
Backset (mm) 40
Distance below top of head (mm) 36
Seat design parameters
Pass/fail Pass
Max T1 acceleration (g) 11.7
Head contact time (ms) 52
Force rating 1
Neck forces
Max neck shear force (N) 34
Max neck tension (N) 453

How the head restraint & seat test is conducted
Currently, IIHS tests apply only to front seats.