Volvo XC60 side crash test November 2017Euro NCAP has handed out eight full five-star ratings in its latest round of safety crash testing – including an “almost-perfect” 98 percent overall score for the new Volvo XC60 premium compact SUV. 

UK research experts Thatcham Research, which carries out a lot of testing for Euro NCAP, said the Volvo had “aced” the ever-tougher test protocols. Its director of Research, Matthew Avery, admitted “it’s exceedingly rare for a vehicle to score so favourably across the board. The adult occupant protection result for the Volvo XC60 is one of the best on record.

“But it’s in active safety that Volvo is really maintaining its lead. The XC60’s standard-fit safety technologies are excellent – or rather those that we were able to test, as its Turn Across Path and Run Off Road systems are not yet a feature of the Euro NCAP programme.”

Its Safety Assist score of 95 percent was a full 40 percent higher than the average of all the cars tested in 2017. “That’s how high the Volvo XC60 is above the bar set by Euro NCAP,” said Avery.

The new XC60 duly becomes the best car yet tested by Euro NCAP in 2017, although it wasn’t the only five-star SUV to be crash-tested. The Citroen C3 Aircross, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Seat Arona, Skoda Karoq, Vauxhall Crossland X and Volkswagen T-Roc also earned a full brace of stars, as did the Volkswagen Polo – the only non-SUV model to be tested. 

Avery reckons the Polo could be a late runner to snare the title of safest supermini in 2017 from the Seat Ibiza. “It’s great to see the VW Polo, a likely top seller, not only performing so well in impact testing, but also coming off the forecourt with standard-fit AEB and Lane Assist systems.”

But while the latest round of five-star cars is impressive, Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen warned car makers things are to get even harder for 2018. “Next year will see new tests and even tougher requirements for five stars.”

Even so, he praised Europe’s big-selling brands for their advances in crash safety. “It is the high-selling mass-market vehicles that will really influence road safety in the future and manufacturers like Nissan, Ford, Seat and VW are to be congratulated for democratising safety.”

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