ARLINGTON, Va. — The 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, a midsize luxury car, earned a TOP SAFETY PICK+ award when equipped with an optional front crash prevention system.
The requirements are tougher for both the lower-tier TOP SAFETY PICK and higher-tier TOP SAFETY PICK+ award in 2023. Acceptable or good headlights are now required across all trims for either award, rather than only for the higher accolade.
In addition, the updated side test, in which a heavier striking barrier hits the test vehicle at a higher speed, replaces the original side evaluation. Vehicles must earn an acceptable or good rating to qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK. A good rating is required for the “plus.”
The TOP SAFETY PICK+ criteria also include a new nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention test. Advanced or superior performance is required in both the nighttime and daytime pedestrian tests for the higher award. For TOP SAFETY PICK, only a daytime rating of advanced or superior is required.
As before, to earn either award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front and original moderate overlap front tests. The roof strength, head restraint and vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention evaluations are no longer part of the award criteria.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class meets all the criteria for the higher-tier TOP SAFETY PICK+ award when equipped with the optional front crash prevention that comes with the Driver Assistance package. The standard LED projector headlights earn a good rating, and the optional curve-adaptive LED projectors are rated acceptable. With the optional front crash system, the luxury sedan earns superior ratings in both the daytime and nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention tests.
Models with the standard front crash prevention system qualify for the lower-tier TOP SAFETY PICK award. This system earns an advanced rating in the daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluation. However, it gets only a basic rating in the nighttime test.