When I was 16, the day after I got my driver's license, I got into my mother's 1976 280C door door sedan, and got broad-sided on the passanger side by a huge american sedan that almost cut my mom's car in half. Accident avoidance? No chance...never even saw the car that hit me.
The impact was so great that I got burns on my hands from the friction of my hands being ripped off the streering wheel. The passengers in the car that broad-sided me were carted off to hospital, and luckily survived. Their car looked like and accordian, which the engine basically in the front compartment.
Our insurance agent told my parents that he had seen 100s of wrecks and could not believe that I walked away from it without a scratch (burns not withstanding).
Buy a Merc. sedan.... think BIG.