The Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has knocked the S-Class off the top spot to pick up Best Luxury Car, and the mighty Sprinter van has received the prestigious Safety Award; a Fleet World Honours award win every year since 2008 for the Sprinter. The trophies were presented at a special ceremony held at the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall on Wednesday 16th May.
The CLS has the elegance and dynamism of a coupé with the comfort and functionality of a saloon and was the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle to have frameless, all-aluminium doors, as well as being the first passenger car in the world to offer LED High Performance headlamps as standard (for Sport models).
With more than a dozen driving assistance systems including Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist, which is now linked to ESP for first time, the CLS-Class builds on the pioneering four-door coupé design of its predecessor, while forging an entirely new identity.
Mercedes-Benz vehicles follow the philosophy that there is no such thing as too much safety. The Sprinter van has always led the way in this field, and was one of the first vans in the UK market to be fitted with ESP electronic stability control and a front bulkhead as standard.
With new additions like ADAPTIVE ESP®, an innovative driving dynamics control system which for the first time takes the load situation of the vehicle into account and combines the functions of the anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BAS) and the optional Start-off Assist system (AAS), the Sprinter is still one of the safest vans on the road today.
Commenting on the Best Luxury Car Award win, Fleet World Editor, Steve Moody, said: “It may not be the most practical, but the brilliant CLS offers luxurious, stylish motoring thanks to its elegant lines and classy cabin. For those at the top end of the executive sector, or somebody looking for a luxurious limousine at a very competitive price, the CLS provides the answer.”
Van Fleet World Editor, John Kendall, said of the Sprinter: “Safety has been ingrained in the Mercedes-Benz culture for many more years than many of its rivals and that’s as true of its commercial vehicles as its cars. The Sprinter was the first van to be fitted with ESP and load-sensing ESP as standard, followed by the Vito, while this feature is still not standard on all rival models. And there’s a long list of safety options available with Mercedes-Benz vans from airbags to reversing cameras, tyre pressure monitoring, headlamps with cornering function and many more. Most of these features have been available for some time and it’s only recently that rivals have started to catch up.”
The Fleet World Honours are presented annually to those motor manufacturers, service companies and individuals who have, in the opinion of the judges, achieved the highest possible level of excellence in their sector.
The judging panel is chaired by Steve Moody, Editor of Fleet World, and includes John Kendall, Alex Grant and Ross Durkin from the Fleet World editorial team. Residual value, maintenance and reliability data is provided by ALD Automotive, Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, Lex Autolease, LeasePlan and Arval. Market value data is provided by EurotaxGlass and VIPDATA.
Nick Andrews, Head of Fleet at Mercedes-Benz UK, added: “To be crowned as Best Luxury Car at the Fleet World Honours for the previous three years was fantastic, but to be crowned again this year with another exceptional product in the CLS, is truly outstanding.”
Steve Bridge, Van Sales and Marketing Director at Mercedes-Benz UK, concluded: “It is recognition of the strength of the Sprinter to be collecting an award at the Fleet World Honours for four consecutive years. For the 2012 award to be a safety one is a fantastic acknowledgement of the innovations that the Sprinter has championed.”