Last post on Dec 04, 2013 at 8:41 AM
You are in the Sedans
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BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37, Acura TL, Lexus IS 350, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac CTS, Volvo S60, Audi A4, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
Oct 01, 2002 (3:37 pm)
While the C-Class did gain an extra star because NCAP changed it's guidelines earlier this year on performance in crashes and safety features provided, the C class did earn it's full 5 stars as it's a very well designed car collision-wise, when I can find the article in which NCAP justified giving the C class an extra star b/c of it's overall performance, I'll paste the link. As the pre 2003 E Class also includes this seatbelt light, your logic would conclude that it too, should receive 5 stars from it's previous 4 when it doesn't.
The fact that car engines are not designed to go into the passenger compartment is obvious, what isn't as obvious is while the X-Type is designed to, as you describe, drop it's engine and driveline components, they will always "push" into the compartment as evidenced by the Insurance Institute's listing of the crash details in which the X-Type exhibited moderate footwell intrusion, between 8 to 12 cm. The best rated C Class, on the other hand, had intrusion measures of 2 to 3 cm. Engineers are constantly trying to limit this phenomenon. While I don't doubt the driveshaft aids in crash test scores, I wasn't trying to prove one way or another, I was speculating on a possible alternative.
And while I may be wrong on the engine block of the 2.0 being different from the 2.5 and the 3.0, I am certain that the E class' hood and front fender structures were lowered as a result of the new engine's newfound underhood space, and not due to the new engines being introduced b/c of the lowered hoodline. This is evidenced by the 99 E320 having the V6 with the prefacelifted hoodline. The discontinuation of the E300 in the U.Ss WAS caused by the low demand for that particular car AND b/c of the structural change. However, that never meant that Mercedes dropped diesels from it's complete linup, in fact, Europe still has the option of a few remarkable diesel E class engines which Mercedes could have introduced here along with the redesigned 2000 E Class.
Oct 01, 2002 (9:18 pm)
Note how the cabin is completely in tact. Amazing.
Oct 01, 2002 (11:33 pm)
I have seen 3 Mercedes cars in accidents where the cars were totalled, two of which were rollover accidents.
One of the rollover accidents was an S430, and it had a mild cabin protrusion, but nothing serious. The cabin was in perfect shape basically. The other was I believe a 600SEL. This one was extremely important because even though this car had pillarless windows, the roof of the car did not cave in at all, even though the car came to a rest upside down. The guy was still in the car at the time, and he was hanging upside down, with no visual bruises, and a few minor cuts from broken glass.
The third accident was an E320 which was involved in a head on collision with a Camaro, who was racing another Camaro on a 2 lane road. I didnt see the drivers, but I saw the car as it was being towed away, and again, no cabin protrusion at all. The car was completely destroyed up to the point where the footwell started.
Im generally dont praise late model Mercedes', but I will always say glamorous things about them when it comes to safety. In my opinion, they are a few steps above volvo. They also have some of the strongest roof structures short of a 3" thick roll bar.
Oct 02, 2002 (2:38 am)
I'll say it up front, I don't think Edmunds does a consistent job on sedan reviews. I understand the whole "they're in BMW's payroll" thing as well as the "but we're not" thing. This month's letters to the editors & Edmunds' responses make good points on both sides.
Unfortunately, Edmunds does a fabulous job of putting numbers to their words that later can be dug up and compared. I'm specifically looking at the entry level luxury sedan comparos - 2001 where a TL-S edged out a 330i, then 2002 where a 330i wiped the floor with the competition. The idea (and some will agree while others disagree) is that the scores tended to deliberately put BMW above the Acura.
Is this happening? Well, I decided to look at the numbers behind the comparisons to find out. Given identical cars, whereas the two were eventually matched on performance in 2001, now there is a 20 point spread between them in 2002. What, Acura got slower or BMW got faster? Given identical front seat comfort in 2001, now for 2002 BMW front seat comfort is tops while Acura's is bottom. Did the seats actually change, or did the editors of the 2002 review have smaller rumps?
Not that only Acura gets the shaft either. In 2001 BMW got a higher "feature content" rating than the TL-S. In 2002, a 330i with MORE features than the 2001 model only tied the feature content rating than a TL-S with the same features. This in spite of the fact that features the 330i lacked in 2001 (dual zone climate control, indash CD changer) were simply left off the Top 10 features list in 2002, leaving BMW as a vehicle that offers every Top 10 feature as either standard or optional.
Basically, I like the prose of the articles and take away many good things from reading them. When I look at the rankings, though, they seem to be statistically invalid; if, twelve months later, your opinions on identical seats can change that much, then how can you rank these cars based on 1% differences in the final rankings?
In one of the comparos, it was stated that the margin for error was about 0.5%, and any two cars tallying numbers within .5% of each other would be considered tied. I suggest increasing that buffer to 10% in order to account for the startling differences you find between two cars after just one year.
Until then, I'm going to stop reading into the numbers and ranking, and concentrate on the prose and photographs. We spend a great deal of effort arguing here about which sedan came in #1 and which one came in #2. If you look at the numbers used to actually rank these vehicles against each other, they fluctuate so wildly from one set of editors to another (you'd think that using a set of editors would even out the fluctuation) so as to make the ranking of these vehicles practically worthless.
Front seat comfort
2001: Acura 83, BMW 83
2002: BMW 9.2, Acura 7.6
Rear seat comfort
2001: BMW 74 Acura 70
2002: Acura 9.2 BMW 5.8
Conclusion: either BMW and Acura received total redesigns in 2002 unbeknownst to all of us, or the editor butt-o-meter does not produce repeatable results.
Oct 02, 2002 (6:46 am)
I was noticing how the hood ornament was still standing. Anyhow, all I can say is that Mercedes still rule in crashes.
About seat comfort, my theory is seats are mass produce by suppliers and sometimes maybe precision of making the seats can run off track. Who knows. Probably the reason they were not as comfortable in Acura in 2002 as was in 2001. Don't know how to go about that one.
#168 of 16982 wishnhigh1
Oct 02, 2002 (7:18 am)
Did you mean the 600SEC Coupe? The reason I'm asking is because you said it had pillarless windows, the sedan (600SEL) has pillars.
Oct 02, 2002 (11:34 am)
Yeah, I know it was pillarless. I all could conclude for sure was that it was a V12 and it was a pillarless coupe. That V12 looks huge from underneath the car.
#170 of 16982 Personal Mercedes Crash Testing
Oct 02, 2002 (12:25 pm)
I can personally vouch for the excellent performance of Benzes in collisions, my mom had a gray market 1981 500 SL that was broadsided at a perfectly 90 degree angle to her car at 40 - 50 miles an hour. She walked away with no serious injuries, just some muscle tension and whiplash. The other car was totalled and although the side of the car was basically crushed in, the passenger compartment's space was maintained. In addition, the door would still open and close normally and she was able to, amazingly, drive it home. I remember how thick the doors on the "Dallas" era SL's were, amazing... Took 30,000 to fix it and even then, it was never the same. We also had a 1987 420 SEL that was rear ended by a Pontiac Bonneville at approx 25 mph and the Pontiac's front was pretty damaged to about the front wheels. Our Benz, on the other hand, suffered little more than scrapes along the length of the bumper, but no structural damage, the bumper wasn't even displaced at all. Just wanted to share with everyone that, after those things happen to you, brand loyalty takes on a whole new meaning...
Oct 02, 2002 (12:47 pm)
Typical german engineering. I was in an 01 golf that a yahoo in a huge pickup broadsided at 40. No intrusion into the passenger compartment at all.