Euro NCAP has published the safety ratings of nine new cars, including four vehicles new-to-market in 2017. Each car is subjected to 15 different tests and hundreds of individual requirements, which are strengthened each year. Here, we reveal the results of the latest crash tests.
Earlier this year, the new BMW 5-Series received a maximum five-star rating, now it’s the turn of the X3. The rating is worthy of further scrutiny, because while a score of 93% for adult safety is superior to the 5-Series’ 91%, the X3 lags behind when it comes to pedestrian safety. The 5 Series scored 81%, while the X3 is a little way off with 70%.
Standard safety equipment includes multiple airbags, attention assist, cruise control with brake function, hill start assist, LED headlights, reversing camera and park assist. Options include a Driving Assistant package, comprising lane departure warning, lane change warning, approach control, cross-traffic alert and rear collision prevention. The Driving Assistant Plus pack adds camera- and radar-based driver assistant technology.
The Citroen e-Mehari failed to achieve the maximum five-star safety rating, with Euro NCAP commenting: “The e-Mehari harks back to the Méhari which began production in the sixties. With standard airbags and seatbelt load-limiters and pretensioners, the e-Mehari offers satisfactory crash protection but its star rating is held back by a lack of driver assistance.”
Sadly, the e-Mehari isn’t available in the UK, but you might end up hiring one if you spend some time holidaying in France. It’ll hit 70mph – eventually – and offers a range of 125 miles, if you avoid spending too much hitting the top speed. The ‘Styled by Courgette’ was a special edition model, unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. At least, we think it was ‘Courgette’.
There’s better news for the e-Mehari’s corporate stablemate, the DS 7 Crossback, which is about as far removed from an electric beach buggy as you can get within the PSA Group. The new SUV receives a maximum five-star rating, broken down as 91% for adult safety, 87% for child safety, 73% for pedestrian safety, and 76% for safety assist technologies.
Prices start from £28,050, but the Ultra Prestige model weighs in at £43,185 and features fancy-dan 20-inch diamond-cut alloys and PolyAmbient interior lighting. Standard safety kit across the range includes active safety brake, two ISOFIX points, driver attention warning, cruise control with speed limiter, rear parking sensors, trailer stability control and hill start assist.
The Honda Civic received a four-star rating when it was tested earlier in the year, but has been retested following a curtain airbag deployment issue. With Honda fixing the problem, the Civic has been retested and now receives a five-star rating.
Of the reassessment, Euro NCAP said: “The Civic was assessed earlier in July 2017. Since then, Honda has introduced a modified side curtain airbag to lessen the impact of head bottoming out, seen in the previous assessment, of the head of 10 year child dummy in the side barrier test. Honda is working to further develop the side curtain airbag to improve performance in this area.”
Four-star reviews have been following the Jaguar E-Pace like a shadow, but at least the compact SUV has a five-star Euro NCAP rating to fall back on. The best score is 87% for child safety, followed by 86% for adult safety. Meanwhile, the E-Pace scored 77% and 72% for pedestrian safety and safety assist technologies, respectively.
Prices start from £28,500, with standard safety kit including emergency brake assist, driver condition monitor, lane keep assist, front and rear parking aid, and rear-view camera. Options include surround camera system, adaptive cruise control, blind spot assist, rear traffic monitor, traffic sign recognition, and head-up display.
It might be based on the Nissan Navara, but the Mercedes-Benz X-Class is considerably safer. The Navara was awarded a four-star rating in 2015, but the X-Class drives away with a maximum five-star rating, including 90% for adult safety. The German pick-up has also scored an impressive 77% for safety assist technologies.
It helps that the X-Class is packed with a long list of safety features as standard, including active brake assist, lane keeping assist, traffic sign assist, eCall automatic emergency response, hill start assist, and multiple airbags. You can also add LED headlights and 360-degree camera parking to the mix.
It’s a maximum five-star rating for the new Porsche Cayenne, but a score of 62% for safety assist technologies is a little lower than you might expect from a premium performance SUV. More positive is the news that the Cayenne scores an impressive 95% for adult safety.
Speaking about safety in general, Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP, said: “As we approach the end of the year, Euro NCAP is preparing for the new tests in 2018, in which auto brake systems that can detect and mitigate cyclists will be put to the test for the first time. These new tests and other planned updates will reflect the surge in automated vehicle functions that we expect to see on the market in the next years. Our mission is to help consumers understand how these systems operate, to show what they are capable of and to explain how one day these might save your life.”
There’s a new Subaru XV – we’re driving it next week – but the crossover has already been subjected to a crash test. The XV scored well across the board, although 68% for safety assist technologies is a little on the low side. It sits on the new Subaru Global Platform (SGP) and recently achieved the highest-ever rating in Japanese NCAP tests, scoring 199.7 out of 208 points.
UK models will benefit from Subaru’s excellent EyeSight driver assistance package, which features pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. It’s also equipped with seven airbags and a revised seatbelt equipped with a locking tongue to reduce injuries and provider better protection during a crash.
Of the Impreza, Euro NCAP said: “The Subaru Impreza is structurally identical to the Subaru XV but has a slightly lower ride-height, and safety equipment is the same for the two vehicles. Additional tests have been performed where the differences in ride-height might influence the results but, otherwise, this rating is based on tests performed on the XV.”
Which means a five-star rating for the revised Subaru Impreza. The Subaru Global Platform is stiffer and more rigid than before, delivering torsional rigidity gains of between 70% and 100%. This is Subaru’s sixth five-star rating in a row, following the 2009 rating for the Legacy, 2011 XV, 2012 Forester, 2014 Outback and 2016 Levorg.
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