The old term “They sure don’t build ’em like they used to” should always be followed up with a “Good,” because modern cars perform better in crash tests than any of the land yachts of the 1970s. Yeah, these cars may be smaller and lighter than those of yesteryear, but advancements in crumple zones and energy transfer over the decades has made them into very protective shells that crumple into piles of tin for the sake of protecting their passengers.

Unfortunately, all of this technology is not without its flaws, which the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is now pointing out. The IIHS has developed a new test to mimic the cause of nearly a quarter of all front-end collision deaths, which is called the “small overlap” test. This is when only a small portion of the front bumper impacts another vehicle or an object.

You may be surprised to hear about who’s failing this important new test. Among those tested to receive the IIHS’ worst rating, “Poor,” was the Mercedes Benz C-Class, Lexus IS and ES, and the Audi A4. Receiving a score of “Marginal,” which is just above poor, is the Acura TSX, BMW 3-Series, Lincoln MKZ, and Volkswagen CC.

Click past the jump for the rest of the results, as well as an obnoxious statement by one top automaker in regards to the testing process.

Those passing the test with a “Good” classification are the Acura TL and Volvo S60. Getting an “Acceptable” rating is the Infiniti G.

Many of those that flunked the test played it off saying that their cars still met federal safety regulations. Mercedes-Benz took a rather conceited route by saying “As a leader in automotive safety, we have full confidence in the protection that the C-Class affords its occupants — and less confidence in any test that doesn’t reflect that.” That’s not confidence, Mercedes, that’s called blind cockiness.

Some of the automakers did pledge to do better, and Toyota had a rather admiral statement in regards to Lexus failing the test. Toyota’s Brian Lyons was quoted saying "With this new test, the Institute has raised the bar again and we will respond to this challenge as we design new vehicles."

We definitely need more automakers like Toyota in this instance and less that just shove their nose in the air, like Mercedes did. Poorly played, Benz. You’ll lose a lot of fans that way...

Justin Cupler
Justin Cupler
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (542) posted on 10.11.2012

it is good we have another safety feature to classify the cars on! after all, it is more important for a car to be save than just good looking. better live and drive an ugly car than have a well designed coffin.

  (509) posted on 10.11.2012

i believe midocar is right. after all, there is no such thing as "bad publicity" as far as marketing is concerned.

  (475) posted on 10.11.2012

maybe it’s a marketing strategy mercedes is using. stating the test is wrong only to create some controversy in the industry, and them being in the middle of it.

  (422) posted on 10.11.2012

i appreciate toyota’s response to the problem. it was the natural response. and it is good that they are interested into making their vehicles safer.

  (452) posted on 10.11.2012

it’s good that mercedes are so luxurious. their owners can go out of this life in style.

  (475) posted on 10.11.2012

i believe that mercedes will lose some of it’s popularity with that attitude.

  (516) posted on 10.11.2012

john, of course i "love" it. and as i said before, the test is important as the real situation can accur quite often.

  (509) posted on 10.11.2012

i hope you "love" it snow, and not really love it. the real life situation of such an impact is very probable.

  (516) posted on 10.11.2012

i love it how mercedes sais that the test is wrong. i find it very important!

  (542) posted on 10.11.2012

this is quite interesting. i think that the new test is very useful. it’s good to know someone is trying to make things safer.

  (474) posted on 08.22.2012

I like their new tag line. It looks safer since Mercedes is the brand. The crash test will be our standard if we could survive the greatest impact of a certain crash event.

  (201) posted on 08.21.2012

With these series of failures on testings, I think Mercedes has to make the right decision to try another Automakers.

  (9) posted on 08.15.2012

well i think mercedes was right when they made that statement. check out the crash test video on youtube and compare with the ones that got good ratings. youll see the real results

Car Finder: