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Mercedes-Benz X-Class scores five star ANCAP rating thanks to autonomous emergency braking

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class has realised a five-star ANCAP rating and is the first ute to go on-sale in Australia with autonomous emergency braking.

ANCAP HAS RELEASED its latest collision test ratings, with the Mercedes-Benz X-Class scoring five stars. The new ute is also the first ute on-sale in Australia to offer autonomous emergency braking. Autonomous emergency braking is fitted as standard on all X-Class variants – AEB is a vital component in vehicles achieving a five-star rating.

In terms of directly comparing the X-Class with its ute competitors, well, that’s tricky. See, the rating system has changed, certain scores used to be out of 16, now they’re out of 8 and their are different categories now too. But, given that many of the X-Class’s competitors were tested a couple of years ago and, in the case of the PX II Ranger, the results in 2015 were based on the original 2011 tests, then it’s probably safe to assume the X-Class is the safest ute in the segment.

“This is a game-changer for the ute market and puts pressure on competing brands,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, Mr James Goodwin.

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“The light commercial vehicle segment has generally lagged passenger cars and SUVs with regard to safety specification, so the inclusion of AEB as standard across the X-Class range is to be commended,” he said.

Three other new models also enter with standard-fit AEB and received a five-star rating, these are the Volkswagen Polo, Jaguar E-PACE and BMW X2 – all variants achieved the maximum rating.

“The Jaguar E-PACE scored well across all assessment areas and features a ‘pop-up’ bonnet and external airbag to improve head protection for struck pedestrians.  Lower leg protection for the driver in the frontal offset crash scenario could however be improved,” Mr Goodwin said.

“BMW’s new small SUV, the X2 also provides a safe choice for adult and child occupants and pedestrians with the standard inclusion of an active bonnet, automatic emergency call function and fatigue detection system.”

Question: Is it confusing to buyers that vehicles tested in 2017 carry a five-star rating but might not have AEB, whereas those tested in 2018 require AEB to be eligible for a five-star rating? And while other utes carry a five-star rating, should the X-Class have received an extra half a star to show it’s got more than the others?


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.