The CLS550's two sets of lower Latch anchors make child-safety seat installation a piece of cake. There's no searching or digging for the anchors since they sit out in the open. Just flip the rubber cover and easily attach the restraint to the Latch anchor. If every car had a Latch system like this, our world would instantly be free of an astounding amount of aggravation and despair. Rear- and forward-facing car seats fit well in the CLS.

The 2012 CLS550 hasn't been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The CLS has standard rear-wheel drive, all-disc antilock brakes with brake assist, an electronic stability system, traction control and 10 airbags, including knee airbags for the front row and side curtains for both rows. Also standard are Mercedes' Pre-Safe system, which closes the sunroof and windows, tightens seat belts and adjusts seats to their safest positions if the car senses that there's about to be a collision, and Attention Assist, a driver-drowsiness monitor.

Optional safety features include all-wheel drive, rear-seat side-impact airbags, adaptive headlights, a blind spot monitoring system and a lane departure warning system. Distronic Plus, also known as adaptive cruise control, brakes and accelerates the car to maintain a safe distance between you and the car ahead.

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