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Five stars: Euro NCAP names safest new SUVs

Mercedes G-Class safety rating

The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class is one of three new SUVs to be awarded a maximum five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP – highlighting the reinvention of this iconic off-roader.

What’s even more impressive is that the G-Class – a left-hand-drive G 350d – was subjected to Euro NCAP’s more stringent protocols of 2019, making a five-star rating harder to achieve than last year.

The Mercedes scored 90 percent for adult occupant safety, 83 percent for child occupant safety, 78 percent for vulnerable road users, and 72 percent for safety assist technology. 

Seat’s new seven-seat SUV, the Tarraco, delivered an even better performance, scoring a near-perfect 97 percent for adult occupant safety. For child safety, pedestrian safety and technology, the Tarraco scored 84 percent, 79 percent and 79 percent respectively.

SEAT Tarraco crash test

What makes this all the more impressive is that the Tarraco shares its platform with the Kodiaq, with the Skoda receiving lower scores in every category when it was crash tested in 2017.

Finally, the new Honda CR-V is awarded a maximum five-star rating, scoring 93 percent for adult safety, 83 percent for child safety, 70 percent for vulnerable road users and 76 percent for safety assist technology.

The power of consumer testing

Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP, said, “Here we have three new vehicles, competing in the same segment and getting top safety ratings.

“That’s impressive enough, but the fact that all three off-roaders are equipped with pedestrian and cyclist AEB systems really demonstrates the power of consumer testing not only to encourage better performance but also to promote new technologies as standard-fit across Europe.”

Last year, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class was named the safest small family car by Euro NCAP, with the Lexus ES scooping the award in the large family car and hybrid/electric categories. The Hyundai Nexo was the safest large off-road car of 2018.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Fiat Panda received a zero rating while the Jeep Wrangler was awarded just a single star.

Euro NCAP reveals safest-in-class cars for 2018

Car safety watchdog Euro NCAP has announced the safest cars in each class for 2018. Three cars tested this year have achieved a best-in-class result, marking a great year of progression in automotive safety.

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class was considered a standout performer in the Small Family Car class, delivering the year’s best result.

The Lexus ES was rated best overall in the Large Family Car segment, also bagging a new award for the best performing hybrid or electric vehicle.

And the Hyundai Nexo brought home the bacon in the Large Off-Roader segment.

Euro NCAP best in class 2018 car crash safety

A little-known fact about Euro NCAP’s testing procedure is that it evolves year on year. Five-star cars tested in 2005, for example, might not get five stars today. Indeed, even compared with last year, this year’s testing has advanced.

One factor Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen references is Vulnerable Road User protection. This is one of many areas where all three best-in-class winners put in an exemplary performance. 

Autonomous driving is increasing in significance at a rapid rate, too. That’s led to a new focus on automated technology for Euro NCAP.

Euro NCAP best in class 2018 car crash safety

Establishing just what level of independence certain systems can be granted is key. But what isn’t in doubt is that this will be steadily increase as technology gets more sophisticated. Euro NCAP’s role is to assess and convey exactly what these systems mean for drivers.

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Nissan Leaf scores five stars in tough new NCAP crash test

Nissan Leaf scores five stars in tough new NCAP crash test

Nissan Leaf scores five stars in tough new NCAP crash test

The electric Nissan Leaf has been awarded five stars as part of a tougher Euro NCAP safety test introduced for 2018.

NCAP says it’s revised its agenda to focus on safety technology to help protect vulnerable road users, including the introduction of a cycling detection test for autonomous emergency braking.

Detecting cyclists presents new challenges to car manufacturers, says NCAP: “Sensors must have a wide angle of view to detect fast-moving cyclists in good time, and complex algorithms are needed to ensure correct identification of potential collision threats while avoiding false activations.”

The new Nissan Leaf is the first car to be tested for its cyclist-detection with auto brake technology.

“These latest updates in Euro NCAP’s active safety testing focus on both the protection of those inside the car and those who share road-space with it,” said Euro NCAP’s secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen.

“Our new assessments demonstrate the increasing level of sophistication that can be achieved by connecting various sensor systems installed on the vehicle. As the cost of these systems drops and computing capabilities increase, standard vehicles will soon become able to help prevent significantly more complex real-life crashes.

“Euro NCAP seeks to encourage this trend and in the context of a safe systems approach, will continue to challenge auto makers to deliver the highest levels of safety performance as standard, for car occupants and vulnerable road users.”

When the original Nissan Leaf was launched in 2011, it was the first all-electric car to be rated five stars by Euro NCAP. With car buyers being encouraged to turn away from conventional engines, NCAP says the Leaf proves that environmental friendliness does not need to come at the expense of improved safety.

As well as a focus on cyclist detection, other changes to the Euro NCAP test for 2018 include testing of pedestrian detection in darkness and obscure lighting conditions to ensure these systems work at all times.

Emergency lane keeping systems are also being tested – with NCAP ensuring they react to the road edge (marked and unmarked) so the vehicle does not run off the road or steer into the path of another vehicle.

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Cars are getting safer: latest NCAP crash test results revealed

Cars are getting safer: latest NCAP crash test results revealed

Cars are getting safer: latest NCAP crash test results revealed

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.

BMW X3

BMW X3

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.

Citroen e-Mehari

Cars are getting safer: latest NCAP crash test results revealed

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’.

DS 7 Crossback

Cars are getting safer: latest NCAP crash test results revealed

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.

Honda Civic

Cars are getting safer: latest NCAP crash test results revealed

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.”

Jaguar E-Pace

Cars are getting safer: latest NCAP crash test results revealed

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.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class

Cars are getting safer: latest NCAP crash test results revealed

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.

Porsche Cayenne

Cars are getting safer: latest NCAP crash test results revealed

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.”

Subaru XV

Cars are getting safer: latest NCAP crash test results revealed

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.

Subaru Impreza

Cars are getting safer: latest NCAP crash test results revealed

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.

>NEXT: An SUV is one of the safest new cars you can buy, says Euro NCAP

The safest new cars of 2016

The safest new cars of 2016

The safest new cars of 2016In February 1997, the first Euro NCAP safety results were presented at a press conference. Since then, the five-star safety rating has continuously evolved as technology matures and new innovations are developed.

With this in mind, we’ve created a list of the cars awarded four- and five-star safety ratings in 2016. If you put safety first, these are the cars you need to consider.

Alfa Romeo Giulia: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

From the beginning of the year, Euro NCAP applied a ‘Dual Rating’ scheme, awarding a default rating based on standard safety equipment across the range. Carmakers are able to apply for a second rating, showing the additional safety provided by an optional pack.

Not that the Alfa Romeo Giulia needed to fall back on a second rating. Back in June, the Italian saloon was awarded the maximum five-star rating, with Euro NCAP noting that it comes with “superior standard safety equipment as standard throughout Europe”. Indeed, the Giulia scored an impressive 98% for adult occupant safety: the highest mark of 2016.

Audi Q2: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

Speaking about the ‘Dual Rating’ scheme, Euro NCAP secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen said: “It is good to see the dual rating scheme being used as it encourages vehicle manufacturers to develop advanced technologies for their vehicles, even if pricing of the product does not allow it to be standard across the range.”

The Audi Q2 received the maximum five-star rating for safety with standard equipment. Audi’s new compact crossover – likely to be one of the most popular cars of 2017 – scored an impressive 93% for adult occupant safety and 86% for child occupant safety.

Ford Edge: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

Euro NCAP dished out no fewer than 14 five-star ratings in 2016, with the Ford Edge one of the beneficiaries. Look beyond the five stars and you’ll discover that Ford’s large SUV received the highest mark for safety assist technologies.

Commenting on the Edge, Euro NCAP said: “Its standard-fit autonomous emergency braking system showed good performance in test of its functionality at highway speeds, with complete avoidance of the target in some of the test scenarios. The Edge also has a lane assistance system that warns the driver when the car is drifting towards a lane marking and gently steers the car back to its path.”

Hyundai Ioniq: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

In 2016, Hyundai challenged the dominance of the Toyota Prius by launching the new Ioniq. In all four categories – adult occupant, child occupant, pedestrian safety and safety assist – the Pirus out-performed the Ioniq, but Hyundai won’t be too disappointed with a five-star rating.

Thomas A. Schmid, chief operating officer of Hyundai Motor Europe, said: “State-of-the-art active safety features are fitted as standard in all versions making the Ioniq one of the safest cars in its segment and a safe and accessible e-mobility choice for customers.”

Kia Niro: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

For 2016, Euro NCAP made some subtle tweaks to its tests. The assessment of child occupant protection is now based on larger dummies, representing a six-year-old and a ten-year-old, rather than the smaller 18-month and three-year-old dummies.

The Kia Niro was tasted under the new ‘Dual Rating’ system, achieving a four-star rating with standard safety equipment. With an optional safety pack fitted, the Niro achieves the maximum five-star rating.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

Also in 2016, Euro NCAP introduced a new layer to the pedestrian protection test, with cars that perform well in the standard tests able to score additional points if they have an autonomous emergency braking system that recognises pedestrians.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class scored well across three areas: 95% for adult occupants, 90% for child occupants and 77% for pedestrian safety. The E-Class is fitted as standard with a ‘Pre Safe’ system, which senses when an accident is about to occur and primes the restraint and protection systems.

Peugeot 3008: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

Electronic stability control is no longer part of the safety assist rating, as all cars must have such a system fitted by law. Euro NCAP is quick to point out that 2016 ratings should not be directly compared with earlier years.

The Peugeot 3008 scored 58% for safety assist, one of the lowest scores of 2016, yet still managed to drive away with a five-star rating. We say ‘drive’, although this is unlikely once Euro NCAP has finished with a car.

Renault Scenic: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

In 2001, the Renault Laguna became the first car to be awarded five stars for occupant protection, some four years after the very first Euro NCAP results were released.

The new Renault Scenic mirrors the result of the old Laguna with a maximum five-star rating. The new Scenic looks and feels a world away from the car it replaces, with a more SUV-like approach.

SEAT Ateca: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

SEAT’s first SUV received a maximum five-star rating back in the summer, with the Ateca receiving particularly good scores for adult and child occupant safety.

The Ateca is equipped with seven airbags as standard, including driver’s knee airbag, as well as seatbelts with pretensioner and load limiter in the front and rear seats. Other safety systems include blind spot detection, cross traffic alert, 360-degree view and tiredness recognition system.

Subaru Levorg: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

In August 2016, the Levorg became the fifth Subaru to score a maximum five-star rating. Later, Subaru added the clever EyeSight technology to every Levorg ordered in the UK. Data from Japan revealed a 61% reduction in crashes for vehicles equipped with EyeSight, compared to those without.

EyeSight features six technologies: pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, adaptive cruise control, lane departure and sway warning, pre-collision steering assist, and lead vehicle start alert.

Suzuki Ignis: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

Another ‘Dual Rating’ here, with the Suzuki Ignis receiving a three-star rating when tested with standard safety equipment, but a maximum five stars when tested with a safety pack.

The Ignis SZ5 model is fitted with Dual Camera Brake Support (DCBS) and is the difference between a three and five-star rating. DCSB incorporates stereo cameras that function in a similar way to the human eye, detecting objects and alerting the driver with full braking if necessary.

Toyota Hilux: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

On the face of it, a maximum five-star rating for the Toyota Hilux is a tremendous result, making it the safest pick-up you can buy. The only other pick-up to receive a five-star rating was the Ford Ranger, but that was way back in 2012.

However, remove the optional Toyota Safety Sense and the rating drops to three stars.

Toyota Prius: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

It’s an excellent set of results for the Toyota Prius, with a score of 85% for safety assist technologies – the second highest rating of 2016.

Toyota’s Safety Sense is fitted as standard and includes autonomous braking, a lane assistance system and a camera-based speed assistance system.

Volkswagen Tiguan: five starsThe safest new cars of 2016

The Volkswagen Tiguan is the last car on our list to receive the maximum five-star rating. A 96% rating for adult occupant safety is the second highest score of 2016, while an 84% rating for child occupant safety is similarly impressive.

The Tiguan features an emergency braking system and – as a first in the Tiguan – a pedestrian detection function.

Fiat Tipo: four starsThe safest new cars of 2016

In standard form, the Fiat Tipo was awarded a middling three-star rating, although the fitment of an optional safety pack helped it to achieve an improved four-star rating. The result prompted Euro NCAP to issue a press release with the headline of “Fiat Tipo – it’s cheap, but is it safe?”

Michiel van Ratingen said: “The Tipo is marketed as a functional car which maximises value for money. However, to maximise safety, and to bring the car up to the protection levels offered by its biggest rivals in this segment, consumers should not pass over the safety pack.”

SsangYong Tivoli: four starsThe safest new cars of 2016

The SsangYong Tivoli is another car to benefit from the Euro NCAP ‘Dual Rating’ system, with the crossover receiving a four-star rating when fitted with an optional safety pack.

Study the percentage ratings and you’ll discover the real difference a safety pack can make. Adult occupant safety up from 74% to 82%, pedestrian safety up from 55% to 65%, and safety assist up from 25% to 43%.

SsangYong Tivoli XLV: four starsThe safest new cars of 2016

It will come as no surprise to discover that the SsangYong Tivoli XLV received identical scores to those awarded to the Tivoli. The XLV is a larger version of the Tivoli, boasting a massive 720 litres of cargo space.

Suzuki Baleno: four starsThe safest new cars of 2016

Euro NCAP introduced the ‘Dual Rating’ system in April 2016, making the Suzuki Baleno the first car to benefit from the new approach.

In standard form, the Suzuki Baleno received a three-star rating. Add the radar brake support system and the star rating jumps to four.

Quadricycle safety at a standstillThe safest new cars of 2016

Also in April, Euro NCAP issued a damning critique on the safety of quadricycles, arguing that the results show little improvement since the last tests performed in 2014. Quadricycles are not subject to the same legislation as passenger cars, but they look like city cars and are likely to compete for sales. You have been warned.

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

Top 10 safest used cars in Britain revealed

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)The safest secondhand cars in Britain have been revealed by Co-op Insurance and Thatcham Research as part of an initiative to reduce confusion over car safety information for buyers.

The top 10 safest used cars have been selected, say the organisations, because they’re all relatively affordable, proving safety is not reserved for those with the deepest pockets.

> More car news on Motoring Research

Co-op and Thatcham Research set criteria to hunt down Britain’s safest used car: they must all have a five-star Euro NCAP safety score, be freely available on the secondhand market for less than £15,000 and also boast CO2 emissions of 120g/km or less. So let’s count down Britain’s top 10 safest used cars.

10: Fiat 500L (2012)

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

The roomy Fiat 500L is the five-seat people-carrying version of the Fiat 500 city car. Like every car in the top 10 safest used cars in Britain, it has a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, with a 94% rating for adult occupant protection.

9: Mazda CX-5 (2012)

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

Mazda’s mid-size crossover SUV was given an 86% score for safety assist features by Euro NCAP in 2012. This rates the standard inclusion of key active safety features such as ESC electronic stability control and seatbelt reminder (standard for all five passengers on the CX-5).

8: Honda Civic (2012)

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

The British-built Honda Civic was tested by Euro NCAP in 2012 and also earned an 86% rating for safety assist features, plus 83% for child occupant protection; Euro NCAP praised the clarity of labelling regarding the status of the front passenger airbag deactivation device.

7: Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2012)

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

The current-shape Mercedes-Benz A-Class was tested by Euro NCAP in 2012, earning a five-star safety score. The boxy high-rise old-shape model also has a five-star score, but don’t be misled: it was tested back in 2005, when test rules were much less strict and inclusive than they are today. The two scores are not comparable.

6: Mazda 3 (2013)

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

Again, the 2013 model Mazda 3 scored a five-star Euro NCAP score, as did the previous 2009 model. But the rules were tougher by 2013, requiring 81% for safety assist and 93% for adult occupant protection to earn the rating.

5: Vauxhall Astra (2015)

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

The latest-shape Vauxhall Astra is just coming onto the used car market as a nearly-new option. It’s worth seeking if you want the safest British-built family hatch on sale, with a strong score across all four of Euro NCAP’s testing criteria: adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian safety and safety assist features.

4: Peugeot 308 (2013)

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

The 2013 308 was a breakthrough car for Peugeot in terms of ability and appeal. This strong user experience is backed up by a good safety score, with Euro NCAP testers praising its side impact protection and standard inclusion of a driver-set speed limiter.

3: Nissan Qashqai (2014)

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

One of Britain’s top 10 best-selling cars, the second-generation 2014 Nissan Qashqai is packed with clever safety assist features such as AEB autonomous emergency braking and a lane departure warning system. It would have scored even more highly had these been fitted as standard, as per Euro NCAP rules…

2: Volkswagen Golf (2012)

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

The 2012 Volkswagen Golf Mk7 does have AEB autonomous emergency braking as standard, which operates at speeds of up to 50mph to either bring the car to a full halt in an emergency, or rapidly reduce the severity of any impact. Thatcham Research has data that shows Mk7 Golf drivers have 45% fewer personal injury claims as a result…

1: Volvo V40 with safety pack (2012)

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

The 2012 Volvo V40 became the safest car ever tested by Euro NCAP in 2012, with a superb score across the board – including an unprecedented 100% for safety assist features. It was one of the first mainstream cars to offer AEB autonomous emergency braking, which Volvo calls City Safety, while models with the optional safety pack add even more functions: road sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and driver tiredness monitor are amongst the features. “A class leading car that has exceptional safety features and all for a reasonable price” summarises Thatcham Research.

Top tips for finding the safest used family cars

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

Thatcham Research has advice for used car buyers seeking out the safest family cars from Britain’s 30 million-plus used car market. The first is, simply, to choose a car with a five-star Euro NCAP safety score. Remember too, the newer the car, the stricter the safety testing will be.

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

AEB autonomous emergency braking will automatically slow the car if it detects an emergency ahead to which the driver does not respond. It’s been fitted to cars since 2008 and became increasingly commonplace on regular family cars from 2012.

Safest used cars in Britain (2016)

Once you’ve ticked those two boxes, be on the lookout for additional safety features. You may need to do some deciphering here, but it’s worth it: active cruise control uses radar to automatically keep you a safe distance from the car in front, lane keep assist uses an array of warnings to alert you if you’re drifting out of lane on the motorway, a driver monitor detects drowsiness and sounds wake-up warnings while high beam assist will automatically put your headlights onto main beam – and dip them again when it detects oncoming traffic. All are worth hunting down if you want the safest used car you can get for your money.

Euro NCAP Alfa Romeo Giulia 2016

Five Euro NCAP stars for three new cars thanks to autonomous tech

Euro NCAP Alfa Romeo Giulia 2016Alfa Romeo, SEAT and Volkswagen have all been awarded five stars for their latest new cars in the latest round of Euro NCAP testing – thanks to generously including latest-generation safety equipment as standard across the range.

The new Alfa Romeo Giulia (pictured above), SEAT Ateca and Volkswagen Tiguan have all been awarded five stars, with Euro NCAP not having to issue Dual Ratings this time round because all three cars are so well-equipped with safety kit as standard.

Since the start of 2016, Euro NCAP has run the Dual Rating system: a ‘stars’ score is given for standard models in the range, with an additional one for those fitted with optional safety equipment packages.

This means that volume cars can score fewer stars than those with optional kit added on, a slightly confusing situation that’s pleasingly not an issue with these three cars because they have all the important safety stuff as standard.

A key piece of technology is AEB Autonomous Emergency Braking, says Euro NCAP, which helps mitigate the impact of low-speed collisions, or even avoid them entirely. Euro NCAP (and its umbrella group, Global NCAP) would ideally like to see it fitted to all new cars as standard.

Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen said: “Euro NCAP shows what can be achieved when governments, consumer groups and motoring clubs from across Europe collaborate. Together, we can exert an influence on the car industry that would be hard to achieve otherwise.

“We are glad to see some of the major manufactures making safety equipment standard across the EU28, although we know that markets outside the Eurozone are sometimes less well served.”

STOPTHECRASH

London Motor Show visitors encouraged to ask three ‘life-saving’ questions

STOPTHECRASHVisitors to the 2016 London Motor Show are being encouraged by Thatcham Research, Bosch, Continental and ZF TRW to quiz exhibiting dealers about the safety credentials of cars on display – because doing so could save lives.

The three questions show visitors are being asked to revise and challenge dealers on are:

  1. What Euro NCAP rating does this car have?
  2. Is Autonomous Emergency Braking fitted to this car – and is it standard?
  3. What else should I do to maximise the safety protection offered by this car?

The four organisations want to raise awareness of modern active safety systems, of which many car buyers are simply unaware. Systems such as Autonomous Emergency Braking should be the number one priority for those looking at a new car, they reckon: instead, it’s well down the list.

Autonomous Emergency Braking, or AEB, automatically brakes the car when it detects an imminent crash. In the real world, it’s statistically proven to cut rear-end crashes by 38% – yet it’s only standard-fit on a paltry 17% of new British cars. Less than half of new car buyers are adding extra safety features on as options.

That’s why the UK still has such a high toll of rear-end crashes: 100,000 a year.

“In the absence of legislation to make it mandatory, we are encouraging consumers to use the power of choice to ensure that every new car coming onto the road has this life-saving feature fitted,” said Global NCAP secretary general David Ward, a Brit who’ll be attending the show to personally drive home the safety message.

“Research shows that three quarters of all collisions occur at speeds under 20mph: even the most basic AEB system in conjunction with sensible tyre safety could prevent the vast majority of these incidents.”

The three-question challenge for the London Motor Show is part of the Global NCAP #STOPTHECRASH partnership, an initiative charged with cutting car accidents in the UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety.

The organisations will be demonstrating the power of Autonomous Emergency Braking in bold fashion at Battersea Park: by running live demonstrations of how the system auto-stops when it detects obstacles ahead.

There will also be a showcase of an online tool hosted by Thatcham Research that allows car buyers to check which new cars have AEB as standard.

Video: What is Autonomous Emergency Braking?

STOPTHECRASH

London Motor Show visitors encouraged to ask three 'life-saving' questions

STOPTHECRASHVisitors to the 2016 London Motor Show are being encouraged by Thatcham Research, Bosch, Continental and ZF TRW to quiz exhibiting dealers about the safety credentials of cars on display – because doing so could save lives.

The three questions show visitors are being asked to revise and challenge dealers on are:

  1. What Euro NCAP rating does this car have?
  2. Is Autonomous Emergency Braking fitted to this car – and is it standard?
  3. What else should I do to maximise the safety protection offered by this car?

The four organisations want to raise awareness of modern active safety systems, of which many car buyers are simply unaware. Systems such as Autonomous Emergency Braking should be the number one priority for those looking at a new car, they reckon: instead, it’s well down the list.

Autonomous Emergency Braking, or AEB, automatically brakes the car when it detects an imminent crash. In the real world, it’s statistically proven to cut rear-end crashes by 38% – yet it’s only standard-fit on a paltry 17% of new British cars. Less than half of new car buyers are adding extra safety features on as options.

That’s why the UK still has such a high toll of rear-end crashes: 100,000 a year.

“In the absence of legislation to make it mandatory, we are encouraging consumers to use the power of choice to ensure that every new car coming onto the road has this life-saving feature fitted,” said Global NCAP secretary general David Ward, a Brit who’ll be attending the show to personally drive home the safety message.

“Research shows that three quarters of all collisions occur at speeds under 20mph: even the most basic AEB system in conjunction with sensible tyre safety could prevent the vast majority of these incidents.”

The three-question challenge for the London Motor Show is part of the Global NCAP #STOPTHECRASH partnership, an initiative charged with cutting car accidents in the UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety.

The organisations will be demonstrating the power of Autonomous Emergency Braking in bold fashion at Battersea Park: by running live demonstrations of how the system auto-stops when it detects obstacles ahead.

There will also be a showcase of an online tool hosted by Thatcham Research that allows car buyers to check which new cars have AEB as standard.

Video: What is Autonomous Emergency Braking?

EQUA Air Quality Index Audi A3

New EQUA ‘NCAP for NOx emissions’ test ranks real-world car pollution

EQUA Air Quality Index Audi A3Emissions Analytics has launched the first fully independent index-based NOx emissions standard for cars and the UK firm claims the new EQUA Index provides a level playing field “to help clear the confusion over real world NOx emissions”.

The new EQUA Air Quality Index has been developed from Emissions Analytics’ existing real-world car economy test. Purely assessing NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions, it gives a simple score from A to H for all cars tested.

An A rating means a car meets current NOx limits for diesel and petrol cars: an H rating is worse than even the very oldest Euro emissions standard – equivalent to 12 times the current Euro 6 limit. The ratings are explained in full below.

Alarmingly, more than 50 older Euro 5 diesels scored an ultra-dirty H rating, along with three current-standard Euro 6 cars – and a supposedly-green diesel-hybrid model, the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4, was also given a worst-possible H rating.

The EQUA Air Quality Index has been launched with ratings for 440 vehicles and the firm has vowed to test 200-400 new cars each year to ensure the rankings are as up-to-date as possible.

> Search the EQUA Index database

Nick Molden, CEO and founder of Emissions Analytics, said: “There’s a great deal of confusion among car buyers on the subject of pollutant emissions, but we’re able to deliver impartial and precise information to help them buy better.

“We’re also looking forward to working with the industry as a whole to highlight the best vehicles available.”

EQUA Air Quality Index: the winners and losers

Volkswagen Group cars are the big winner of the EQUA Air Quality Index tests. A batch of its latest Euro 6 diesels have been tested – and of the six cars assessed, all six have achieved the very cleanest A-rating, suggesting tailpipe NOx emissions are exactly what Volkswagen claims in real-world use.

Proof that no defeat devices are active on the latest models..?

The BMW 3 Series also achieved an A-rating for real-world Euro 6 diesel emissions – the only other Euro 6 diesel to do so: of the 62 latest-spec cars tested, three scored B-ratings, 9 were rated C, 13 were rated D, a worrying 20 were rated E, five scored F, two G and three the very worst H rating.

These models were the Fiat 500X 1.6-litre diesel SsangYong Korando 2.2-litre diesel, plus the 2013 Audi A8 3.0-litre diesel that’s no longer on sale (an indication that defeat device systems could be active on in-market Volkswagen Group cars?).

In contrast, all but four of the 45 Euro 6 petrol cars tested were rated A, suggesting the latest diesel models in particular have an issue with hitting Euro 6 NOx targets in real world use. All diesels, that is, except Volkswagen Group diesels…

Every single Euro 6 hybrid vehicle also achieved an A-rating.

As for Euro 5 diesels (which were applicable for new cars in showrooms up until September 2014 for newly-launched models and September 2015 for existing on-sale in-market motors), things are far worse.

Not a single Euro 5 diesel car scored an A-rating, or a B-rating: the best model was the Skoda Octavia 1.6-litre TDI, with a C-rating. Then it was five D-rated cars (proving Euro 5 cars can only meet Euro 4 limits), followed by a staggering number of E, F, G and H-rated cars.

Such H-rated models include best-sellers such as the BMW 1 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Nissan Qashqai, Renault Clio, Vauxhall Corsa and, yes, the 1.6-litre Volkswagen Passat.

However, all but eight of more than 100 older Euro 5 petrol cars tested failed to score the very lowest A-rating for NOx emissions. Does this mean air quality campaigners are right to focus on getting older diesel models off Britain’s roads?

EQUA Air Quality Index table