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Safest cars of 2009 named

VW Golf tops Euro NCAP list of safest cars

VW Golf Euro NCAP crash test

The VW Golf has been rated 2009’s safest car

Safety testing body Euro NCAP has announced the top five safest cars of 2009.

The agency changed its scoring system at the start of last year to include a new overall safety rating, meaning it can now answer the question of which are the safest cars on the road.

Top of the list of five-star motors was the latest Mk6 version of VW’s ever-popular . The hatchback, one of the UK’s best-selling cars, scored a superb 97% rating for adult occupant protection in crash tests.

It was followed by the economical and hybrids, which came in second and third place respectively.

supermini was fourth, and there was a three-way tie for fifth between the , and the new .

The top five list could be considered a mark of confidence for British-built cars, too – as the Avensis is made at Toyota’s Burnaston plant in Derbyshire and the Astra is constructed at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.

Crash test set to get tougher

At the other end of the scale, Euro NCAP says the and were the worst crash-test performers of the year, having both received an almost-unheard-of three-star rating.

Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, said: “This is the first time we can calculate results that demonstrate an overall safety performance. Even though these cars excel in different areas of safety, their presence in the top-five list indicates that they are among the top safety achievers of the year.”

Euro NCAP rated 33 cars in 2009, but is set to make its ratings even more stringent in 2010 by raising the scores needed to achieve the top five-star rating.

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