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It's a Mercedes-Benz for gods sake. My gym teacher, whose family owned a Volvo dealership, once pointed out to me that Volvos are the safest cars you can buy... Unless you are willing to spring for a Mercedes.

Granted that was back when Volvo was more semi-premium than luxury.

But still. Dude, it's the safest van you can buy, period.
 

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Let me expand on my comment. First of all, the Metris is a Vito is a V-class, structurally and safety system-wise.

Structurally, the Metris is a unitary monocoque, with Saint Gobains Sekurit* safety glass (it cubes when it breaks, making it blunt and much less likely to slice you up). The structure has channeling members* to divert the energy around the high-strength steel passenger safety cage*, as well as deformable sections* to absorb as much energy as it can. So the cars structure is about as safe as a car can be.

The van has front*, front side*, and side curtain airbags. It has pyrotechnic pretensioners* in the front seatbelts. In the event of a crash, the car will so detect it, unlock all the doors*, and enable the electric hazard lights*, so as to lesson the likelyhood that someone that was trailing you will hit you. Finally, the car is equipped with the superior IsoFIX child seat safety anchor system, vastly superior to American standard LATCH systems, to best fix a child seat into the interior.

You have the ESP*. ESP is many things. It provides ASR (a Volvo first innovation, by the by) traction control to improve acceleration in slippery conditions. It also gives Stability Control*, which will under practically any circumstances prevent you from losing control of the vehicle (Note: Not all stability control systems are created equal, and MBs current system is generally considered the best). It has, of course, ABS* with four-channel control* (if any one brake line fails, you still have the other three wheels), as well as an entirely separate mechanical drum-type parking brake on the rear wheels*.

Of course, while Mercedes generally does this stuff better than other manufacturers, all cars have that stuff now- its legally mandated. Here's what isn't, but is standard on the Metris. EBD*- Electronic Brakeforce Distribution*- the car will vary the brake force individually at each wheel to maintain stability in a stop. Brake-Assist*- If the car detects that you are letting off the brake too early, or not providing enough force for your panicked attempt, it will deploy maximum brake force on your behalf. Brake-Prefill*- If you let off the gas in a panicked manner, the car will pre-fill the brake system and apply the brakes gently to the pads, saving precious milliseconds, applying the full force of them immediately upon you touching the pedal. Brake Disc Wipe*, which will gently touch the pads to the brakes when they get wet, keeping them dry and ready to provide full force braking when you need it.

Then you have some other cool stuff. First of all, the ESP is Load Adaptive*. That means that it calculates your center of gravity and applies ESP according to your vehicles current loading. Thus, if you have a load of 7 people, it will take that into account. Next, you have Crosswind Assist*, which will detect severe cross-winds and use the brakes to pull you back on course, instead of blowing you into the car next to you. Next, the electric power steering has a degree of self-steer on it, so it keeps you on the straight and narrow against a variety of things- like more minor crosswinds. And last, but certainly not least, Attention Assist* will study your driving habbits, and alert you if you are starting to demonstrate substantially reduced driving ability- and it does work, it usually comes on about 10 seconds after I start wondering if I need coffee.

Thats the standard stuff right there. If you choose to select the Active Safety Package or Active Safety Package W/ Active Park Assist, you will get a few more features. The first is Collision Prevention Assist*, which will monitor the space in front of your van, and if it detects potential for a collision it will simultaneously sound off a warning to you, while calculating the minimum braking force needed to avoid a crash- as soon as you hit the pedal, it will deploy that force. Which not only stops or substantially reduces the force with which you hit the car in front of you, but also reduces the potential for you being rear-ended by the person behind you. Then there is Lane Keep Assist*, which will vibrate the steering wheel if you get out of your lane without signaling. And there is Blind Spot Assist*, which lights up a little triangle in the sideview mirror, to tell you there is somebody in the (substantial) blind spot, and will beep at you if you signal while there is someone blocking you (a sidebar affect is that it reduces the space you mentally need to change lanes, so you can move through traffic a lot faster).

What are all these asterisks? The asterisks indicate a feature that Mercedes-Benz invented, or at the very least, brought to market first. Which is why I was so puzzled by your question. Of course its safe. Its a Mercedes-Benz. They invented automotive safety. Long before anybody cared about it, and at a time where Ford learned that advertising safety made people think your car was unsafe.

By the way, here is the V-class video link, which also shows off its ESP system:

https://youtu.be/wUPE8GRN4wo
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the comments... I know it has all those cool little features to make it's safe as possible, I guess my concern is more about how it actually performs in a crash.

I've been trying to decide between a Metris and a f150. You can't argue with the storage ability of the Metris, it wins hands down. The f150 just got rated as the safest truck and it has a little more luxury. I just want to make sure I'm safe if that stupid drunk driver crosses the center line.

Plus I wish we could get some of those luxury upgrades we see in other countries.
 

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The F150 is rated best for a body-on-frame pick-up. The amount of safety they provide given the limitations of body-on-frame construction is really impressive. Especially for a pick-up which has no body strength at the point where the bed and cab meet- all you have between them is the frame. At heavy impact or lateral impact they will bend at that structural weak point- especially as they are specifically designed to flex there.

In addition, if your pick-up is laden the load will be outside of the vehicles safety cage, which will cause the load to absorb the accident force and use it against the vehicles frame, whereas in the Metris (or any monocoque van, really) the load is within the vans safety cage and won't whipsaw the structure.

If you are looking for a cargo van, Mercedes sells a partition rated to absorb the slide force of your cargo, and prevent it from crushing the drivers compartment.

So yes, the F150 is a striking technical achievement as pickup trucks go. But it's still a body on frame with seperate cab and bed units. They are inherently unsafe vehicles.

So if safety is your concern, the Metris is your best bet. If you are more concerned with luxury than safety, than the F150 will give you a lot more for the money.
 

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To illustrate my point, watch the crash test of the F150 Crew Cab. See how the bed moves forward and causes damage to the cab? That's a basically unladen bed. Now imagine what would happen if you were carrying ~1500 pounds of load in that bed.

It would be like simultaneously being rear-ended by half a car. Whereas in a cargo van with a monocoque construction and a proper partition, that energy would be contained and mitigated by the cars crash systems- rather than bypassing it.
 

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GreenManedLion has the facts!

I really like the idea that I have a vehicle that has all the safety features that it has. The brakes really inspire confidence.

I too used to think that Volvo was the safest, until I started drinking the Benz Koolaid (BenzAde I think it what they call it). I didn't realize the safety history of Mercedes Benz until I took a few mandated courses for my training.
 

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I like all the modern safety features offered either standard or optional on the Metris, and plan to order all, except for maybe auto-parking. The one area I have concern is with the Collision Prevention Assist (code JA6). The Equipment Book states "COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST does not carry out autonomous braking.".

The entire text follows:
" Supports the driver in maintaining the minimum distance to the vehicle in front. The system provides a visual warning when the distance to the vehicle in front drops below the minimum. If there is the risk of a collision an audible warning is also emitted. At the same time thesystem activates the Brake Assist BAS PRO which – if the driver fails to brake heavily enough – automatically increases the braking pressure. The system detects vehicles in front from a speed of 5 mph. The system monitors the area in front of the vehicle with the aid of a medium range radar sensor with a range of approx. 213 ft. A red triangular warning lamp appears in the instrument cluster when the distance to the vehicle in front falls below the minimum for several seconds. If the distance continues to decrease rapidly an intermittent warning is also sounded. The brake boost assistance provided by Brake Assist BAS PRO is cancelled again once the system no longer detects any potential dangerous situations. The intervention of Brake Assist can be interrupted by the driver by releasing the pressure on the brake pedal or pressing the accelerator. If the driver requires more braking power than applied by the system then the driver's requirements will prevail. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST does not carry out autonomous braking. In addition, the system does not feature pedestrian detection. The system detects vehicles ahead that are either moving or stopping. The radar sensor is on the passenger side of the front bumper."
As I get older I recognize times that I have missed something that I should have seen and reacted to. It feels like "where did that MF (insert your preferred exclamation here) come from!", as I hit the brakes. I have friends with new cars who tell me their cars braked (appropriately) in situations before they could, or were even aware that the need existed. But the Metris system's description says it does not carry out autonomous braking. Am I missing something?
 

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I like all the modern safety features offered either standard or optional on the Metris, and plan to order all, except for maybe auto-parking. The one area I have concern is with the Collision Prevention Assist (code JA6). The Equipment Book states "COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST does not carry out autonomous braking.".

The entire text follows:


As I get older I recognize times that I have missed something that I should have seen and reacted to. It feels like "where did that MF (insert your preferred exclamation here) come from!", as I hit the brakes. I have friends with new cars who tell me their cars braked (appropriately) in situations before they could, or were even aware that the need existed. But the Metris system's description says it does not carry out autonomous braking. Am I missing something?
You need to apply the brake pedal to make the system help to prevent accident.

That's what the sales manager I bought from told me. And I was the only one asking about testing this feature on a test drive. He didn't say yes or no, just stating no one did that before and I was afraid it wouldn't work right that would cause an accident I'm at fault. So I didn't bet my life on this technology that time. But I'm sure it works perfectly with "my van" because I witnessed it once.

After a week long in Las Vegas for CES and gambling I was so tired driving home. After getting off the freeways to local streets on my way home with my family in the van, everyone was still sleeping and I was approaching a red light while traffic in front of me slowing down to a stop. I pressed the brake pedal and my brain told me to press harder to stop but my foot didn't react fast enough because I was exhausted and then I heard the warning beeps, faster beeps and boom: my van stopped in a safe distance between us and the car in front. Oh man, that stop woke everyone up: everything and everyone was thrown forward (luckily they all wear seat belts) and they were a little panic asking me what happened.

Again, I needed to apply the brake first. If not the van just keeps moving forward.
 

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In essence, the van informs you of the emergency by beeping, and you give it permission to take care of it by stepping on the brake in any way.

You have never experienced braking like that of a Metris saving itself once you have given the appropriate permission. I personally prefer having to authorize it. But I am not an old man, and was a racer in my youth.
 
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