The safest new family cars in the UK

Looking for the safest family car money can buy? We’ve selected the family motors awarded a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating between 2013 and 2016. Note: Euro NCAP doesn’t include small and large off-road vehicles in its family car category, but given the popularity of such models, we’ve included them in our gallery.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Adult Occupant: 98%, Child Occupant: 81%, Pedestrian: 69%, Safety Assist: 60%

Euro NCAP introduced the overall safety rating in 2009, based on four areas: Adult protection; Child protection; Pedestrian protection; and Safety Assist technologies. A star rating was introduced to add more flexibility. Based on the current system, the Alfa Romeo Giulia received a maximum five-star rating, including an impressive 98% for adult occupants.

Toyota Prius

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 82%, Pedestrian: 77%, Safety Assist: 85%

The Safety Assist rating is focused on technologies that support safe driving to avoid accidents and mitigate injuries. These include seatbelt reminders, automatic city braking, lane support and speed assistance systems. The Toyota Prius scored 85% when tested by Euro NCAP, contributing to an overall five-star rating.

SEAT Ateca

SEAT

Adult Occupant: 93%, Child Occupant: 84%, Pedestrian: 71%, Safety Assist: 60%

The Ateca is SEAT’s first SUV, so the Spanish firm will be delighted to receive a maximum Euro NCAP safety rating. It’s one of four cars tested by the safety firm in 2016…

Volkswagen Tiguan

Adult Occupant: 96%, Child Occupant: 84%, Pedestrian: 72%, Safety Assist: 68%

The Volkswagen Tiguan is the fourth and final car to be awarded a maximum five-stars in 2016, a year in which Euro NCAP recognised the increasing popularity of safety packs. In other words, a car can now be tested with or without an optional safety pack. Based on the new system, the Suzuki Baleno received three stars, but this was increased to four with optional safety technologies.

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Adult Occupant: 95%, Child Occupant: 89%, Pedestrian: 82%, Safety Assist: 71%

Next up: cars that received the maximum five-star safety rating in 2015, starting with the Mercedes-Benz GLC. Using Euro NCAP’s own categories, small off-road and large off-road vehicles are omitted from the family cars section, but given the popularity of crossovers and SUVs, we thought it best to include them.

Lexus RX

Lexus RX

Adult Occupant: 91%, Child Occupant: 82%, Pedestrian: 79%, Safety Assist: 77%

Which means the Lexus RX is also included in our safest family cars feature. Look beyond the challenging styling and you’ll find a large SUV that goes head-to-head with the likes of the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and BMW X5. The RX features a pre-crash system with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, automatic high beam and adaptive cruise control. Prices start from just shy of £40,000.

Audi Q7

Adult Occupant: 94%, Child Occupant: 88%, Pedestrian: 70%, Safety Assist: 76%

If you’re struggling to choose between the Lexus RX and Audi Q7, and safety just happens to be your primary concern, the best way to look at things is that the Q7 is better for those travelling in the car, while the RX does a better job of protecting pedestrians. Life is all about priorities…

Volvo XC90

Adult Occupant: 97%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 72%, Safety Assist: 100%

Check out those scores. The Volvo XC90 is the safest thing short of wrapping your children in cotton wool and never letting them leave the house. The five-star rating includes a maximum 100% for safety technologies, plus 97% for adult occupants. Prices start from £46,850 for the Momentum trim level, which includes city safety, road sign information and lane keeping aid.

Volkswagen Touran

Volkswagen Touran

Adult Occupant: 88%, Child Occupant: 89%, Pedestrian: 71%, Safety Assist: 76%

The Volkswagen Touran scores well across the board. Depending on trim and the amount of options boxes you tick, you can equip your Touran with adaptive cruise control, park assist, trailer assist and traffic jam assist. The latter is a clever system that controls the brakes, acceleration and steering in stop-go traffic.

Audi A4

Adult Occupant: 90%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 75%, Safety Assist: 75%

The current Audi A4 is arguably the benchmark in the fiercely competitive compact executive sector and it doesn’t score lower than 75% in any of the Euro NCAP classifications. Prices start from £26,350.

BMW X1

Adult Occupant: 90%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 74%, Safety Assist: 77%

The X1 is BMW’s entry-level X model and prices start from £27,440. You can equip your BMW X1 with a Drive Assist package, which includes lane departure warning, approach control warning and person warning, which provides an alert when a pedestrian is in the road, preconditioning the brakes.

Ford Galaxy

Ford Galaxy

Adult Occupant: 87%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 79%, Safety Assist: 71%

The humble MPV may have had its day, but private hire firms and rental companies keep the likes of the Ford Galaxy alive. In this sector, a five-star safety rating is almost essential.

Ford S-Max

Adult Occupant: 87%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 79%, Safety Assist: 71%

The second generation Ford S-Max was unveiled in 2015 and it remains the best choice for those in search of a people carrier that’s good to drive. It includes an optional camera mounted on the front of the car that relays a split-screen image to the dashboard, allowing the driver to see vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians coming from either side.

Renault Megane

Adult Occupant: 88%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 71%, Safety Assist: 71%

In 2001, the Renault Laguna became the first car to be awarded the maximum five stars for occupant protection. Fast forward 15 years and the all-new Renault Megane has received five stars, including 88% for adult occupant protection.

Infiniti Q30

Infiniti Q30

Adult Occupant: 84%, Child Occupant: 86%, Pedestrian: 91%, Safety Assist: 81%

The Infiniti Q30 is based on the same platform as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and boasts a number of safety devices. These include intelligent cruise control, blind spot warning, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition. With a 91% score for pedestrian safety, this is one car that won’t strike fear into those who are walking through town.

Kia Optima

Adult Occupant: 89%, Child Occupant: 86%, Pedestrian: 67%, Safety Assist: 71%

The Kia Optima is available in three trim levels: Optima 2, Optima 3, Optima 4. The top trim offers blind spot detection, lane keep assist, high beam assist and autonomous emergency braking.

Skoda Superb

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 86%, Pedestrian: 71%, Safety Assist: 76%

It’s perhaps most famous for packing a pair of umbrellas and doing a good impression of something that costs double the price, but the Skoda Superb is rather safe, too. Along with the usual options, such as lane assist and blind spot detection, the Superb can also be fitted with crew protection assist. If the car senses a collision is imminent, it retracts the front seat belts, pulls up the side windows and closes the sunroof. Clever.

Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 71%, Safety Assist: 71%

The Hyundai Tucson was one of our favourite new cars of 2015. Prices start from a headline grabbing £18,995, but in order to take advantage of the full array of safety equipment you’ll need to part with at least £25,340 for the Premium model. This adds autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert.

Toyota Avensis

Adult Occupant: 93%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 78%, Safety Assist: 81%

It’s easy to overlook the Toyota Avensis, which means you might not know that Toyota Safety Sense is standard across the range. The package includes lane departure warning, automatic high beam, road sign assist and a pre-collision system. Prices start from £18,085.

Vauxhall Astra

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 84%, Pedestrian: 83%, Safety Assist: 75%

The all-new Vauxhall Astra is a thoroughly good car and these are a thoroughly decent set of results. Opt for the SRi and Elite models and you can enjoy the benefits of OnStar, which provides 24/7/365 access to an advisor. It also includes an automatic crash response system.

Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage

Adult Occupant: 90%, Child Occupant: 83%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 71%

The Kia Sportage is an extremely popular car in the UK, not least because of its excellent value for money and seven-year warranty. We’re surprised buyers manage to escape Kia dealers without reaching for the headache pills – there are ten different trim levels to choose from.

Jaguar XE

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 82%, Pedestrian: 81%, Safety Assist: 82%

When you’re hoping to mix it with the Germans, a good Euro NCAP score is going to help. Fortunately for Jaguar, the XE doesn’t disappoint, with 81% being the lowest of the four scores. The all-wheel drive versions can be fitted with adaptive surface response, which recognises differences between surfaces to exploit the maximum available grip.

Honda HR-V

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 79%, Pedestrian: 72%, Safety Assist: 71%

The Honda HR-V is based on the Jazz supermini and features the clever ‘Magic Seats’ system found in the Civic. The top trim HR-V EX costs from £24,305 and features forward collision warning, intelligent speed limiter, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition.

Mercedes-Benz GLA

Mercedes-Benz GLA

Adult Occupant: 96%, Child Occupant: 88%, Pedestrian: 67%, Safety Assist: 70%

The GLA is the Mercedes-Benz equivalent of the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. All models are fitted with an active bonnet for pedestrian safety, attention assist and active brake assist, while an optional Driving Assistance package includes blind spot assist, lane keeping assist, distance pilot and Pre-Safe anticipatory safety system.

Porsche Macan

Adult Occupant: 88%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 60%, Safety Assist: 66%

With a score of 60%, the Porsche Macan records the lowest pedestrian safety rating of all the cars featured here. According to Euro NCAP, “the front edge of the bonnet scored no points, with poor protection being provided”.

Subaru Outback

Adult Occupant: 85%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 70%, Safety Assist: 73%

Like the Macan, the Subaru Outback was crash tested back in 2014, when it was awarded the maximum five-star rating. The Outback uses Subaru’s EyeSight technology to monitor the road ahead and recognise potentially dangerous driving situations.

Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen Passat

Adult Occupant: 85%, Child Occupant: 87%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 76%

Volkswagen Passat prices start at £22,680, but you’ll need to upgrade to the £23,490 SE to take advantage of front assist including city emergency braking. The SE also offers adaptive cruise control.

Jeep Renegade

Adult Occupant: 87%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 65%, Safety Assist: 74%

The Renegade shares its platform with the Fiat 500X and is the first Jeep to be assembled outside the US. But while the Renegade gets the maximum five stars, the 500X has to make do with four, not least because it scored a lowly 64% for safety technologies.

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

Adult Occupant: 84%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 60%, Safety Assist: 70%

The 2 Series Active Tourer is BMW’s first people carrier, and a front-wheel drive one at that. This might upset the purists, but families will appreciate the five-star safety rating and quality interior.

Volkswagen Golf SV

Volkswagen Golf SV

Adult Occupant: 87%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 62%, Safety Assist: 73%

The Volkswagen Golf SV is known as the Golf Sportsvan in the rest of the Europe, but there’s nothing remotely sporty about the inflated Golf. Still, at least it’s safe.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 84%, Pedestrian: 77%, Safety Assist: 70%

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class can be fitted with the likes of adaptive cruise control, active lane keeping assist, active blind spot assist, cross-traffic assist, pre-safe preventive occupant protection and LED intelligent lights.

Kia Sorento

Adult Occupant: 90%, Child Occupant: 83%, Pedestrian: 67%, Safety Assist: 71%

The Kia Sorento KX-3 adds lane departure warning and speed limit information to an already impressive level of kit. Upgrade to the KX-4 and you’ll find blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert and drive mode select.

Renault Kadjar

Renault Kadjar

Adult Occupant: 89%, Child Occupant: 81%, Pedestrian: 74%, Safety Assist: 71%

The Renault Kadjar shares its platform with the Nissan Qashqai, but while both crossovers achieved a five-star rating, the individual scores are different. The Kadjar is better for adult occupants, but in every other respect the Qashqai scores better.

Nissan Qashqai

Adult Occupant: 88%, Child Occupant: 83%, Pedestrian: 69%, Safety Assist: 79%

Amazing to think the Nissan Qashqai was tested back at the start of 2014. Since then it has cemented itself as the nation’s favourite crossover. A five-star Euro NCAP safety rating helps.

Nissan X-Trail

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 83%, Pedestrian: 75%, Safety Assist: 75%

It’s a similar story for the larger X-Trail, which scores better for adult and pedestrian protection, but slightly worse for safety technologies.

Ford Mondeo

Ford Mondeo

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 82%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 66%

In the case of cars available in different body styles, Euro NCAP will list the model tested. For the Ford Mondeo it was the estate, but the five-star rating also applies to the saloon.

Lexus NX

Adult Occupant: 82%, Child Occupant: 82%, Pedestrian: 69%, Safety Assist: 71%

Lexus NX brand ambassador will.i.am will be delighted to learn the posh crossover scored a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

Nissan Pulsar

Adult Occupant: 84%, Child Occupant: 81%, Pedestrian: 75%, Safety Assist: 68%

The Nissan Pulsar offers a huge amount of rear legroom and a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Adult Occupant: 82%, Child Occupant: 78%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 68%

Since 2013, 11 hybrid and electric cars have been tested by Euro NCAP, seven of which scored the maximum five-star rating. One of these was the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron.

Citroen C4 Picasso

Adult Occupant: 86%, Child Occupant: 88%, Pedestrian: 68%, Safety Assist: 81%

The Citroen C4 Picasso offers an array of safety features, including active lane departure warning, active blind spot warning, safety brake and speed limit recognition.

Mazda 3

Adult Occupant: 93%, Child Occupant: 86%, Pedestrian: 65%, Safety Assist: 81%

All versions of the Mazda 3 get Smart City Safe support, a system that applies the brakes if it senses a low-speed collision is likely. Higher spec Sport Nav models can be equipped with lane departure and blind spot monitoring.

Skoda Octavia

Skoda Octavia

Adult Occupant: 93%, Child Occupant: 86%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 66%

The Skoda Octavia is one of our favourite cars at any price, so it’s good to know it has a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating. Prices start at £16,660 for what is essentially a more practical and affordable Volkswagen Golf.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Adult Occupant: 93%, Child Occupant: 83%, Pedestrian: 69%, Safety Assist: 82%

The Land Rover Discovery Sport records one of the best adult occupant protection scores, while also performing very well in terms of safety technologies. Driver aids include lane keep assist, driver condition monitor, autonomous emergency braking and surround camera system.

Lexus IS

Adult Occupant: 91%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 80%, Safety Assist: 66%

Like the aforementioned Jaguar XE, the Lexus IS another alternative to the executive saloons offered by the ‘big three’ from Germany. It’s available as a 2.0-litre petrol or a 2.5-litre hybrid.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Adult Occupant: 88%, Child Occupant: 84%, Pedestrian: 64%, Safety Assist: 81%

The Outlander PHEV has been a runaway success for Mitsubishi, fast becoming the UK’s best-selling plug-in hybrid. Brake assist and city crash provision are fitted as standard, with higher trim levels gaining curve guidance warning, forward collision mitigation and lane departure warning.

Toyota Auris

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 84%, Pedestrian: 68%, Safety Assist: 66%

The Toyota Auris faces a fight in a sector dominated by the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, but the availability of a hybrid version and a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety provide some much needed standout qualities.

Toyota RAV4

Adult Occupant: 89%, Child Occupant: 82%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 66%

The original Toyota RAV was an early pioneer of the crossover recipe. In common with the Auris, there are better alternatives to today’s RAV4, but the hybrid version is a good enough reason to take a closer look.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 80%, Pedestrian: 72%, Safety Assist: 81%

The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is about to be refreshed for 2016. It’s long overdue, as Suzuki’s Qashqai rival has been eclipsed by the newer Vitara, which was also awarded five stars, but is classed as a supermini by Euro NCAP.

Jeep Cherokee

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 79%, Pedestrian: 67%, Safety Assist: 74%

Order a Jeep Cherokee in a top trim level to take advantage of lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and park assist.

Peugeot 308

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 79%, Pedestrian: 64%, Safety Assist: 81%

It’s a while since the Peugeot 308 scooped the European Car of the Year award and was put through the rigours of the Euro NCAP crash test. In 2013 it scored an impressive 92% for adult occupant protection.

Mazda 6

Mazda 6

Adult Occupant: 92%, Child Occupant: 77%, Pedestrian: 66%, Safety Assist: 81%

This is the same score as the Mazda 6, a car that deserves more recognition than it gets. Not only is the 6 great to look at, it’s also great to drive.

Kia Carens

Adult Occupant: 94%, Child Occupant: 76%, Pedestrian: 64%, Safety Assist: 81%

It might not be the most exciting new car on the market, but buyers love its blend of practicality, value for money and ease of use. The seven-year warranty and five-star Euro NCAP rating also help.

Mercedes-Benz CLA

Adult Occupant: 91%, Child Occupant: 75%, Pedestrian: 74%, Safety Assist: 81%

Mercedes-Benz calls its CLA model a coupe, but in reality it’s a compact four-door saloon that rivals the Audi A3 saloon. It scores brilliantly for adult occupant protection.

Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V

Adult Occupant: 93%, Child Occupant: 74%, Pedestrian: 68%, Safety Assist: 66%

You’ve made it this far, but we promise we’re nearly at the end of our marathon look at the safest family cars in the UK. The penultimate car on the list is the Honda CR-V…

Ford Tourneo Connect

Adult Occupant: 94%, Child Occupant: 85%, Pedestrian: 62%, Safety Assist: 70%

Which is swiftly followed by the Ford Tourneo Connect. Think of it as a Ford Transit Connect dressed up as a practical MPV.