Equipment on new European models (1): Daimler, BMW, and Volkswagen

More availability of start/stop system, variable headlight range control, and active safety equipmen

2012/10/18

Summary

 The following summarizes the availability of major equipment used in new passenger cars that Daimler, BMW, and Volkswagen launched in Europe in and after the summer of 2011. Twelve models are reported - four Mercedes-Benz models, two BMW models, one MINI model, three VW models, and two Audi models.

 Concerning driving stability equipment, the system that allows the driver to choose driving characteristics including the characteristics of suspension and power steering, is increasingly available. Among systems to improve fuel efficiency, a start/stop system is available in 9 out of the 12 models and is increasingly available as standard equipment.

 As for visibility features, headlamps that automatically adjust the lighting range and angle depending on the existence of a vehicle running ahead and on surrounding brightness are becoming increasingly available.

 Among the collision safety systems of increasing availability are the knee airbags for the driver and the side airbag for rear seat occupants, which M-Benz also uses in its compact cars.

 With regard to driving and parking assist systems, the active safety system is becoming increasingly available including the availability of a collision mitigation brake system in the VW up! subcompact. Each OEM is also increasingly using a parking assist system that automatically performs steering maneuvers during parallel and double parking.

 Systems addressing greater comfort and convenience that are growing more available include a two-zone automatic climate control that automatically controls the climate separately for the driver seat and the passenger seat. M-Benz and BMW have adopted a system in which users can open and close the trunk lid by moving the foot below the rear bumper even when their hands are full.

BMW 3 Series (photo: the ActiveHybrid 3)
BMW 3 Series (photo: the ActiveHybrid 3)

VW Passat Alltrack
VW Passat Alltrack
Related reports:  Features on new US models (June 2012)
Features on new Japanese models (March 2012)
Features on new Hyundai/Kia vehicles (September 2012)

Advanced systems introduced by Daimler, BMW, and VW (on new models launched in Europe in and after the summer of 2011)

Driving stability
(including
fuel efficiency)
Driving performance select M-Benz M-Class/SL-Class/A-Class,
BMW 1 Series/3 Series,
VW Passat Alltrack, Audi A3
Start/stop system M-Benz M-Class/B-Class/SL-Class/A-Class,
BMW 1 Series/3 Series, VW Passat Alltrack,
Audi A1 Sportback/A3
Visibility Variable headlight range control M-Benz M-Class/B-Class/SL-Class/A-Class,
BMW 3 Series, Audi A3
Collision safety Knee airbag for driver M-Benz B-Class/A-Class, Audi A3
Rear side airbag M-Benz M-Class/B-Class/A-Class
Driving/parking assist Park assist M-Benz M-Class/B-Class/SL-Class/A-Class,
BMW 1 Series/3 Series,
VW Passat Alltrack, Audi A3
Collision mitigation brake system VW up!/Passat Alltrack,
Speed limit assist M-Benz M-Class, Audi A3
Comfort & convenience Two-zone automatic climate control M-Benz M-Class/B-Class/A-Class,
BMW 1 Series/3 Series,
VW The Beetle/Passat Alltrack, Audi A3
Remote boot closing
and hands-free access
M-Benz SL-Class, BMW 3 Series