SAFETY

The 2011 300C has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For a car to earn this safety nod, it must receive the highest score of Good in frontal-offset, side-impact, rear and roof-strength crash tests. It also must have an electronic stability system, which is standard on the 300C. It hasn't been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The 300C has three sets of lower Latch anchors in the backseat, and three child-safety seats can fit across the second row. Both forward- and rear-facing child-safety seats fit in the 300C, but the Latch anchors can be difficult to use because the seat cushions are pushed against them. My daughter's booster seat fit in the 300C, but the floppy seat belt buckles were hard for her to grasp and she needed my help buckling up.

In addition to its electronic stability system, the 300C has standard rear-wheel drive, all-disc antilock brakes, traction control and seven airbags, including side curtains and a driver's knee airbag.

The optional features include all-wheel drive, forward collision warning system, front and rear parking sensors, Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection, and adaptive cruise control. All these systems worked flawlessly, though the parking sensors were really sensitive.

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