Mercedes-Benz X-Class earns top safety rating

Standard-fit autonomous braking earns praise from testers.


The Mercedes-Benz X-Class has secured a top five-star safety rating in the latest series of crash tests of new models staged by Euro NCAP.

In the tests carried out by the safety body, the X-Class became the first pickup vehicle to achieve a Euro NCAP five-star rating for its standard-fit equipment since the Ford Ranger in 2012.

Testers also highlighted the Safety Assist score of 77% achieved by the X-Class as the highest ever in the pickup category, as was its Child Occupant score of 87%.

Matthew Avery, head of research at Euro NCAP’s UK body Thatcham Research, praised the widespread of autonomous emergency braking, the X-Class among eight tested cars fitted with the technology.

Maximum points

The standard-fit AEB system of the X-Class scored maximum points when tested at the low speeds, typical of city driving, at which many whiplash injuries are caused.

“It is encouraging that drivers of all eight cars will be supported by standard-fit AEB – a technology which is proven to reduce accidents,” Avery said.

Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen admitted that the five-star results would be unsurprising to some, but continue to represent outstanding engineering achievements.

“(A five-star rating) should not be taken for granted given the fact that Euro NCAP’s rating regime now includes over 15 different tests and hundreds of individual requirements, which are strengthened all the time – it is very positive that manufacturers still see a five-star rating as the target for most new vehicle models,” van Ratingen added.

Evidence of the challenges facing manufacturers is evident in new tests that Euro NCAP intends to introduce in 2018, in which brake systems that can detect and mitigate cyclists will be put to the test for the first time.

“These new tests and other planned updates will reflect the surge in automated vehicle functions that we expect to see on the market in the next years – our mission is to help consumers understand how these systems operate, to show what they are capable of and to explain how one day these might save your life,” van Ratingen said.

Mercedes-Benz-X-Class The Van Expert

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Van Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars and vans for more than 20 years, and attends many new model launches each year.

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