The new A-Class from Mercedes-Benz has undergone European NCAP crash tests, and achieved outstanding results in them. As a result, it was awarded the top rating of five stars. “This Euro NCAP award, which we are delighted about, is recognition of the excellent standards of safety in our vehicles,” explained Prof. Dr. Rodolfo Schöneburg, Head of Passive Safety and Vehicle Functions at Mercedes-Benz Cars. “However, the standardised crash tests only represent a small sample of the real-life accidents that may be encountered on the street. For that reason, Mercedes-Benz designs all its model series using around 40 different accident constellations.”
Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) is an organisation of European transport ministries, automobile clubs and insurance associations. It carries out crash tests and assesses vehicle safety based on the safety systems available. The General Secretary of Euro NCAP, Michiel van Ratingen, says: “In 2018 we introduced new, tougher tests, with a particular focus on protecting particularly vulnerable road users. The winners of the “Best in Class” awards clearly show that the vehicle manufacturers are striving for the highest levels of safety and that the Euro NCAP ratings act as a catalyst for significant progress where safety is concerned.”
The new A-Class: exemplary active and passive safety
The new A-Class is also the first Mercedes-Benz model to have been developed in part at the new Technology Centre for Vehicle Safety (TFS). The design of the vehicle structures incorporates findings from research into real accidents. The centrepiece of the body’s safety concept is the highly rigid passenger compartment. Its great rigidity in accident conditions, e.g. in frontal, lateral or rear-end collisions and roll-overs, is above all due to the greater use of high-strength, ultra-high-strength and press-hardened sheet steel.
The driver and front passenger each have a three-point seat belt with belt force limiter and belt tensioner. In conjunction with the PRE-SAFE® system (optional equipment), the front seats are equipped with reversible belt reel tensioners. Both of the outer rear seats are fitted with a seat belt with reel tensioner and belt force limiter.
The new A-Class is equipped with driver and front passenger airbags, a driver’s kneebag and windowbags as standard. Unlike in many competitor models, the windowbag also covers the A-pillar for more complete passenger protection. Thorax-pelvis sidebags are also fitted as standard in the front. Rear sidebags are optionally available.
The new A-Class has the very latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, giving it the highest level of active safety in this segment, with functions adopted from the S-Class. For the first time, the A-Class is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. It keeps a very close eye on the traffic situation: improved camera and radar systems allow it to see far ahead. The A-Class also uses map and navigation data for assistance functions. For example, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC as part of the Driving Assistance package is able to support the driver in numerous route-specific situations, and predictively and conveniently adjust the speed e.g. when approaching bends, junctions or roundabouts.
The new A-Class comes with expanded Active Brake Assist as standard. Depending on the situation, it can effectively help to mitigate the consequences of rear-end collisions with slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles ahead, and even with crossing pedestrians and cyclists, or prevent them altogether.