Euro NCAP has today released crash test results for 12 new cars. Five-star performers include Audi’s Q3 compact-SUV crossover, the third generation of the Toyota Yaris supermini and BMW’s entry model, the 1 Series hatchback.
In fact, 11 of the 12 cars tested received full marks in the crash test – only the Lancia Voyager (the Chrysler Voyager rebadged for the non-UK European market) didn’t get the full five-star rating, achieving just four stars.
Euro NCAP: pedestrian safety in focus
Pedestrian safety has been a real focus for this latest batch of results, especially as Euro NCAP is increasing the lower limit for a five-star rating for this area to 60% from 2012 onwards.
Only the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Toyota Yaris, BMW 1 Series and Ford Ranger pick-up (the first pick-up to ever achieve a five-star rating from Euro NCAP) scored 60% or higher for pedestrian safety. The lower scores of the seven remaining cars mean they would not be granted the five-star accolade under the revised rules that come into force next year.
Some manufacturers are anticipating these changes and have already introduced active safety systems to improve pedestrian safety. Four of the cars tested had active bonnet systems, which use sensors to detect when a pedestrian has been struck and actuators lift the bonnet to help lessen the severity of the impact.
However, only the Mercedes M-class achieved the minimum pedestrian safety score, the others – Fiat’s Freemont and Lancia’s Thema and Voyager (both non-UK models) – gained less than 60%, prompting Euro NCAP to declare that there’s more room for improvement in this area.
Euro NCAP: not just premium models getting five stars
Other cars not featuring this advanced technology still received the overall five-star stamp.
Toyota’s third-generation Yaris exceeded the 60% pedestrian safety score and continues the model’s flawless crash test history, receiving five stars in all three generations.
Other non-premium models were also handed the maximum Euro NCAP score, with Hyundai’s new sport offering, the Veloster, and Chevrolet’s updated Captiva compact-SUV both now boasting the full rating.
And Vauxhall’s two latest models, the Astra GTC and Zafira Tourer, also scored maximum ratings in the latest test.
BMW 1 Series rewarded under Euro NCAP Advanced
Another new system featuring in this latest run of crash tests is BMW’s Assist Advanced eCall. The German carmaker was rewarded with extra points under the Euro NCAP Advanced rating scheme, for its automatic emergency call system.