Mercedes A200 CDI: Serious about safety

  • The safety systems on our A-Class explored
  • Long list of standard safety equipment
  • Some optional kit costs a little extra

Over the years, Mercedes-Benz has become synonymous with the production of extremely safe cars. 

Its products are often right at the forefront of the very latest technological advances, and many things we now take for granted were first seen on the German firm’s wares.

Such tech is usually seen first on Mercedes’ flagship car – the S-Class – but then filters down through the rest of the range.

This is illustrated perfectly in my A-Class, which is literally rammed with kit aimed at keeping me, my passengers and pretty much everyone else as safe as possible. Some bits are standard and some are optional extras, but all represent the cutting edge of safety innovation.

First of all, let’s explore the bits which keep me safe as the driver. There are five airbags aimed directly at me with the job of mitigating the effects of an accident, and front passengers get the same albeit without the ‘kneebag’.

Collision Prevention Assist also comes as standard. This monitors the area 80m in front of the car and identifies objects you’re likely to crash into.

In the first instance a warning light is illuminated on the dashboard, and then if the brakes are applied the car will decided exactly how much brake for is required, not only to stop the car before the collision but to stop it as slowly as possible to prevent a rear-end collision from cars behind you.

The icon for this is the two cars with an exclaimation mark (!) in between them as seen in the picture above.

Another clever system is Attention Assist, which monitors steering inputs and will suggest the driver takes a break if they are exhibiting the tell-tale signs of tiredness at the wheel.

The icon for Attention Assist is a small coffee cup, as seen in the picture above.

There are also warnings for lamp failure and tyre pressure loss. Automatic headlamps are a nice touch too, since it’s all too easy to forget to put yours on when day turns to night.

Our car also has an active bonnet. This is a measure which detects an impact with a pedestrian and automatically raises the bonnet by 65mm, mitigating the impact.

Of course, as with most cars these days I've also got an Electronic Stability Control (ESP) programme along with a traction control system and anti-lock brakes. 

Pre-safe is fitted as an optional extra costing £340, and is a system helping to keep front occupants safe in the event of an impending collision.

If the car detects that a crash is likely - i.e. when skidding or emergency braking – the slack is taken out of the seatbelts.

If the car thinks a roll-over or side impact is likely then it’ll also close the windows and the sunroof.

If my car had electric seats (which it doesn’t) then Pre-Safe would also automatically adjust the seating position to keep me in the safest situation possible.

As part of the Night Package, which costs £995, bi-xenon headlights with their own washers are installed and ‘run-flat’ tyres are also included so if you get a puncture you won’t end up damaging your alloy wheel. Good job too – those AMG alloys on our car are rather smart.

Current mileage: 4,401

Average mpg: 47.5mpg (ind.)