Mercedes-Benz S-Class to Feature World-First Backseat Airbags

Think your SUV is safer than a sedan? Think again.

Back seat airbags in the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class luxury sedan
The new 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is paying more attention to backseat passengers.
Daimler AG
By Alex Lauer / July 28, 2020 6:00 am

There are a lot of bad reasons to hop on the SUV bandwagon, but there is at least one unimpeachable reason: safety. As more and more people buy bigger and bigger cars, it only makes sense that Americans would trade up from their sedans so they feel safe on the road. The only thing that could stop this self-perpetuating cycle? A sedan that outperforms even the ballooning sport-utility vehicle in rider safety.

Mercedes-Benz is hoping to achieve that goal with its new, redesigned S-Class. According to a press release, the refreshed luxury sedan will feature optional backseat airbags, “protecting [rear-seat passengers] in the event of a frontal impact, an entirely different concept compared to that of front airbags.” If you’re wondering why you’ve never seen this before, it’s because it’s the first production vehicle in the world to offer the safety technology. 

The automaker is releasing more information in the run-up to the official unveiling of the new S-Class in September, so we don’t have all the answers or details yet; but according to Mercedes-Benz the rear-seat airbags will adapt to child seats, so worried parents can rest easy. 

Backseat airbags have been in the works for a while, with Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, showcasing the apparatus in an experimental safety vehicle back in May 2019. So it’s no wonder the first vehicle to get the technology is a car that currently boasts a starting price above $90K. For those who want the option in a $30K car, you may have to wait a few years.

If the S-Class is in your price range, you can count on much more than second-row airbags. As The Drive wrote, “Another improved safety feature on the 2021 S-Class is the upgraded Pre-Safe Impulse Side function … It’s as if the car puts up its shoulder to take the brunt of the crash while pushing you away.”

If SUVs keep getting bigger, sedan owners are going to need all the Transformers-level help they can get.

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