SAFETY

The 2011 E50 coupe has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It earned the top score, Good, in front, side, rear and roof-strength crash tests. It also has a standard electronic stability system, a requirement of Top Safety Picks.

Besides an electronic stability system, the E350 coupe also has standard rear-wheel drive, all-disc antilock brakes with brake assist, traction control, a first-aid kit, Attention Assist system, which measures driver alertness to sense fatigue, and full complement of airbags, including side curtains for both rows and a driver's knee airbag. The Pre-Safe system also is standard. If you get too close to another car without braking and it appears you will hit the other car, the system launches into action, providing preventative braking (not enough to come to a complete stop but enough to reduce speed), adding tension to seat belts, inflating seats to improve shock absorption upon impact and moving head restraints into optimal positions.

Optional safety features include a blind spot and lane departure warning systems, night vision assist, backup camera, front and rear parking sensors, and rear-seat side-impact airbags. Mbrace, Mercedes' emergency communication system, is also optional.

While the E350 coupe wasn't my perfect fit, I have to give credit to all of the amazing safety technologies this vehicle houses like little hidden nannies working around the clock to ensure the safety of all occupants.

The E350 coupe has two sets of lower Latch anchors that sit behind slits in the bucket seats. They were easy to use with no wrestling or finger-spraining required. However, my son's booster seats didn't fit well in the backseat. With the booster in place, the seat belt buckle was hidden behind it. For my son to buckle up, we had to angle the booster away from the buckle.

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