The latest Euro NCAP crash tests resulted in five-star ratings for five important new family cars: the Audi A3, Ford B-Max, Kia Cee’d, Renault Clio and Volvo V40.
In fact, the new Volvo V40 hatchback is Euro NCAP’s all-time top scorer in the medium car segment.
Volvo V40 crash test video
Euro NCAP was set up by European consumer organisations, including Which?, in 1997. Since then, its independent crash tests have spurred a revolution in car safety.
A car’s overall star rating (out of five) is made up of individual scores for adult, child and pedestrian protection – plus a score for active safety systems, such as electronic stability control.
Volvo V40 best for safety
Volvo’s reputation for safety will be boosted by a best-in-class result for the new 2012 V40.
What really sets the Volvo V40 apart from other medium hatchbacks is its standard-fit pedestrian airbag. In a crash, the airbag lifts the bonnet and partly covers the windscreen pillars, cushioning the impact for a pedestrian.
This has translated into a 88% score for pedestrian protection – the highest yet seen in this part of the test.
Five stars for Audi A3 and Kia Cee’d
Two of the V40’s rivals in the medium car sector are the latest versions of the Audi A3 and Kia Cee’d.
The upmarket A3 may not look vastly different to its predecessor, but it’s all-new under the skin. It scored five stars overall, including an excellent 95% for adult occupant protection.
At the budget end of the sector, the new Kia Cee’d was also awarded five stars. An 88% score for child occupant protection is particularly impressive – the Volvo V40 got 75% in the same test.
Ford B-Max and Renault Clio rated
We were interested to see how the new Ford B-Max fared. The compact MPV has no B-pillars (the part of a car’s bodyshell between the front and rear doors), so we were concerned that structural integrity might be compromised.
Fortunately, the Ford passed Euro NCAP’s crash tests with flying colours, gaining five stars overall and 92% for adult occupant protection. It also comes with Active City Safety, an advanced emergency braking system.
Last, but not least, is Renault’s new 2012 Clio supermini. The smallest car here, its five-star rating is an excellent result.
The Clio scored 88% for adult occupant protection and 89% for child occupant protection.
Visit the Which? Car website for our verdict on all of the cars featured here.