Shopping for safety features

Kate Dannies
6 Min Read

CAIRO: Let’s face it: when shopping for cars, make and model often take precedence over important considerations such as safety features and gas mileage. We all want to look cool while cruising the streets of Cairo, but as the city expands and highway driving becomes the norm, safety should be a top priority for prospective buyers.

Luckily, many of Cairo’s most popular car models have a variety of safety features and have earned good ratings in crash tests. With each new model year, manufacturers strive to outdo themselves with new and improved safety offerings. As the New Year approaches, it’s time to take a look at what the top car companies have come up with for 2009.

A popular safety feature for 2009 models are dynamic head restraints, or headrests that move with the neck and head in the event of a collision to both restrain and prevent injury. Also, tire pressure monitors allow the driver to keep an eye on tire pressure without having to actually check it, while four-wheel anti-lock brakes prevents wheels from locking while braking.

Six of Cairo’s most popular models offer a well-rounded look at the newest safety features – information that will help the savvy consumer make the most of their money while riding safely in style.

Toyota Corolla

Easy navigability, excellent gas mileage and compact comfort are some of the reasons why the Toyota Corolla is one of the most popular cars on Cairo’s streets. The new standard safety features in the new 2009 model are icing on the cake. While Toyota’s 2008 Corolla came equipped with nine standard safety features, the 2009 model features a whopping 14, including dynamic head restraints, which are not offered on most comparably priced vehicles. Not surprisingly, the 2009 Corolla passed crash tests with flying colors, scoring 4/5 for front impact and 5/5 on side impact safety.

Hyundai Accent

The Hyundai Accent is one of the most affordable cars available. In the past, the relationship between affordability and unreliability could be summed up in the popular saying “you get what you pay for. The 2009 Hyundai Accent proves that in a competitive car market, this is no longer always the case. With 12 standard safety features and competitive crash test ratings (5/5 front impact; 4/5 side impact), we can expect to be seeing even more Hyundais on the street.

Jeep Liberty

Even before Cairo expanded to include numerous desert satellite cities, the Jeep Liberty was a popular choice due to its luxury comfort, scratch-resistant exterior, and fortress-like feel. Despite mediocre gas mileage and high prices, expanding city limits have made the Jeep more attractive to prospective buyers. With the 2009 Jeep Liberty, drivers who like to ride high are in luck: 13 standard safety features including traction control and electronic stability control for those unpredictable desert roads have earned the newest Liberty perfect marks on crash tests.

Mitsubishi Lancer

Lancers new and old models can be easily spotted on the street, a testament to the ability of Mitsubishi’s most popular model to tackle treacherous city roads. The 2008 Lancer boasted 13 standard safety features received a perfect crash test rating. While it’s hard to ask for more than that, it’s still a little disappointing to see that the 2009 model offers nothing new for the prospective buyer. If the Lancer wants to stay on top of the market, exciting new features need to be served up in the coming years to satisfy technology-conscious buyers.

Mercedes C Class

Despite the status and luxury evoked by the Mercedes label, when it comes to safety features, the C Class does not go above and beyond its more affordably priced competitors. With 17 standard safety features, and near perfect crash test ratings, the 2009 C Class is nothing to scoff at, but the difference in safety certainly doesn’t match the difference in price.

The main area where Mercedes safety features distinguish themselves in the 2009 C Class is in airbag technology; the C Class offers head and side airbags in addition to the standard front airbag technology. It also boasts traction control and electronic stability control, which are important for the high speed driving that many Mercedes aficionados enjoy.

BMW 5 Series

If you’re looking for the safest luxury car around, you might consider passing up the BMW 5 Series and looking for something with a better safety record. In spite of offering 15 standard safety features, including auto crash notification, the 5 Series didn’t do so well in the crash tests, earning only 3/5 on front impact safety. For the money you will spend on a BMW 5 Series it would be a good idea to trade up in terms of safety. The popular X5 SUV, for example, received a perfect score in the crash tests – proof that you can drive in safety without compromising class.

Judging from the offerings described above, the prospective buyer should have no trouble finding a balance between safety and style when shopping for a new car in 2009.

To read the other stories in our bi-monthly special focus on Egypt s automotive industry, click here:

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