Top Safety Pick

2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

midsize luxury car / 4-door sedan

2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4-door sedan

Crashworthiness

Rating overview
Small overlap front: driver-side
Moderate overlap front
Side
Roof strength
Head restraints & seats

Crash avoidance & mitigation

Front crash prevention
Optional system
Superior

Other available safety features

  • Standard daytime running lights
  • Optional blind spot detection
  • Optional lane departure warning
  • Optional lane departure prevention

Key

  • G
    Good
  • A
    Acceptable
  • M
    Marginal
  • P
    Poor
  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

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

Small overlap front: driver-side

Rating applies to 2013-14 models built after December 2012

Tested vehicle: 2013 Mercedes-Benz C 250 4-door

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was redesigned for the 2008 model year. Beginning with 2010 models, an airbag for the driver's knees was added to improve occupant protection in frontal crashes. Beginning with 2013 models built after December 2012, the side curtain airbags were reprogrammed to deploy in small overlap frontal crashes to further improve occupant protection (note: information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on or near the driver door).

Two tests of the C-Class were conducted, one a 2012 model and the other a 2013 model built after the side curtain airbags were reprogrammed. In the first test, the driver side curtain airbag did not deploy; in the second test, it deployed as intended. The ratings and vehicle specifications listed are for the second test, but because the car's structure was not changed, the structural rating is based on both tests.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Restraints and dummy kinematics

Action shot taken during the second of two small overlap frontal crash tests.

The dummy's position in relation to the door frame, steering wheel, and instrument panel after the crash test, together with the footwell intrusion, indicates that the driver's survival space wasn't maintained well (second test shown).

In the second test, the frontal and side curtain airbags worked well together to keep the head from coming close to any stiff structure or outside objects that could cause injury.

In both tests, intrusion into the driver footwell was extensive and contributed to a high risk of injury to the left lower leg and at least a significant risk to the right lower leg. Also in both tests, the dummy's right foot was trapped by intruding structure and the brake pedal as the left front wheel was forced rearward and inward during the crash (second test shown).

Rating applies to 2010-13 models built before January 2013

Tested vehicle: 2012 Mercedes-Benz C 250 4-door
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was redesigned for the 2008 model year. Beginning with 2010 models, an airbag for the driver's knees was added to improve occupant protection in frontal crashes.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Restraints and dummy kinematics
The dummy’s head remained in contact with the frontal airbag, but its head still moved toward the intruding A-pillar because the seat belt allowed excessive forward excursion of the dummy's head and torso. The side curtain airbag did not deploy, leaving the dummy's head vulnerable to contact with side structure and outside objects.

Action shot taken during the first of two small overlap frontal crash tests.

The dummy's position in relation to the door frame, steering wheel, and instrument panel after the crash test, together with the footwell intrusion, indicates that the driver's survival space wasn't maintained well (first test shown).

In the first test, the seat belt allowed far too much forward movement of the dummy to the extent that its head came close to hitting the intruding A-pillar. The side curtain airbag did not deploy, further adding to injury risk.

In both tests, intrusion into the driver footwell was extensive. The dummy's right foot was trapped by intruding structure and the brake pedal as the left front wheel was forced rearward and inward during the crash. (The tire, painted white for visibility, can be seen just below the dummy's left foot after the first test.)

Moderate overlap front

Rating applies to 2010-14 models

Tested vehicle: 2010 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4-door
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was redesigned for the 2008 model year. Beginning with 2010 models, an airbag for the driver's knees was added to improve occupant protection in frontal crashes. Moderate overlap frontal ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test conducted by Mercedes-Benz as part of frontal crash test verification.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Restraints and dummy kinematics

Side

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
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Head protection
Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
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.

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

Head restraints & seats

Rating applies to 2008-14 models

Seat type: Power leather seats AHR

Overall evaluation
Dynamic rating
Seat/head restraint geometry

Front crash prevention

System details

  • Optional Pre-Safe Brake

Package name

  • Optional Driver Assistance Package

Applies to 2013-14 models

Overall evaluation

  • This system meets the requirements for forward collision warning.
  • In the 12 mph IIHS test, impact speed was reduced by 10 mph.
  • In the 25 mph IIHS test, impact speed was reduced by 13 mph.
Superior
Superior
with optional equipment

How front crash prevention is evaluated