Which cars are the safest?
Whether we need a car just for us, for a family of 7 or for transporting our precious pooch safety is normally not far from our minds.
When it comes to cars, safety and Euro NCAP go hand in hand. Euro NCAP was established in 1997 and is made up of 7 European Governments, as well as motoring and consumer organisations from every European country. Euro NCAP provide an independent evaluation of a vehicles safety for consumers in an easy to understand 5 star format.
The number of stars a vehicle receives represents how well the vehicle has performed in 4 different assessment areas;
Adult Occupation – Tests in this area are designed to assess the protection from frontal impact, side impact and also includes whiplash tests.
Child Occupation – The protection offered from child restraint systems in both frontal and side impacts is assessed. The ability of the vehicle to accommodate child restraints of different sizes and designs is considered. Finally, the availability of provisions for the safe transport of children in the vehicle is considered.
Pedestrian Protection – In these tests the potential risk of injury to a pedestrian is assessed. Vehicles will receive additional points if there is an autonomous braking system able to recognise a pedestrian present in the vehicle.
Safety Assist – This area considers any driver aids including; electronic stability control, seatbelt reminders, speed assistance and lane support. Driver aids are tested both in normal driving conditions and in typical accident scenarios.
Car manufacturers also always have safety on their minds so are continuously developing new safety aids. As new technology emerges NCAP revise the standards needed to attain star ratings and change them accordingly. The most recent example of this is the new crash avoidance technology which had a significant impact on star ratings. The star ratings NCAP award do not only show how well the vehicle has performed in testing, but will also take into account how widely available safety features are to consumers across Europe.
So which cars perform the best? The Volvo V40 is the best performing car overall in Euro NCAP safety testing. It is the only car to average over 90% in each of the 4 categories. However, if you needed something other than a small family car, here is the safest of the rest by category;
Safest Supermini – Renault Clio
Safest Large Family Car – BMW 3 Series
Safest Executive Car – BMW 5 Series
Safest Small SUV – Vauxhall Mokka
Safest Large SUV – Volvo XC90
Safest Small MPV – VW Touran/Ford S-Max