Latest Euro NCAP crash ratings releasedNew Ford Focus aces Euro NCAP test

25 May 2011

The new Ford Focus protects well in the front crash

Ford shows real Focus on all-round safety

Euro NCAP has published its latest batch of car crash test results, including results for the new Ford Focus and first fully-electric car to achieve five stars, the Nissan Leaf.

The Ford Focus aced the test, scoring five stars overall, with high individual ratings across the board - including a creditable 72% for pedestrian protection. The Nissan Leaf is the first all-electric car to achieve five stars.

New Ford Focus sets its sights high

The long-awaited new Ford Focus achieved five stars in the latest Euro NCAP crash tests.

Few carmakers these days want to launch a new model that achieves less than five stars, such is the influence of Euro NCAP testing. But since 2008, Euro NCAP has been tightening its requirements to include more aspects of car safety. This includes assessing 'safety assist' features that help you avoid having an accident, and measuring the protection offered against whiplash injuries by the seats and head restraints in each car. The testing criteria has also been progressively tightened - in the area of pedestrian safety, for example.

Whiplash injuries are the single biggest injury cost to insurers

Whiplash protection in a rear-end shunt is part of Euro NCAP's regular testing

This has made getting five stars harder than it has ever been, forcing manufacturers to focus harder on every aspect of safety.

Video of Euro NCAP stability control tests

The introduction of electronic stability control (ESC) to cars, designed to recover the car if you start to skid out of control, has been proven to reduce the chances of an accident. We've called for many years for all cars to be fitted with ESC, and while that point hasn't yet been reached, its fitment now forms part of the Euro NCAP 'safety assist' testing. 

For the first time, we can show you footage of what happens in the Euro NCAP ESC assessment. Watch the video to see how the Nissan Leaf performed. 


Please enable JavaScript to access this content.

Nissan Leaf Euro NCAP ESC test May 2011

Nissan Leaf Euro NCAP ESC test May 2011 interior and exterior viewpoints

The Nissan Leaf did well in Euro NCAP tests. In the front crash, the driver's and passenger's knees and femurs were exposed to some risk of injury. Head protection and chest protection for the passenger was good, and adequate for the driver.

In the side crash the Leaf protected its occupants very well, scoring maximum points. In the pole test protection was slightly less good, yet still adequate for shielding the chest region.

The Leaf was tested with a fully charged live battery pack and no electrical hazards were found in the test. The front seats and head restraints offer marginal protection against whiplash injury in a shunt from the rear. 

Pole test simulates what happens if you skid sideways into a tree or a lamp post

The Nissan Leaf in the severe pole test

Read our guide to electric cars 

Ratings for Lexus CT 200h, Volvo V60 and others

A total of six car crash test ratings have been revealed in this batch, including the Lexus CT 200h, the company's first medium family hatch, the latest version of the Volvo V60, Citroën's quirky and the Peugeot 508.