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New VW Golf scores five stars for safety

Fourteen new cars get top marks, but Dacia lags behind

Euro NCAP has just released crash-test results for 15 new cars – and all but one have claimed its top five-star safety rating. 

In its latest tests, Euro NCAP has focused on primary safety systems that can help mitigate or prevent accidents. Providing strong evidence of improving safety standards in the new car market, 14 of the 15 cars tested scored at least 91% for adult occupant protection in the latest batch of crash tests. A number of them also scored a maximum 100% for safety assist features, such as stability control. 

Popular cars scoring the maximum five stars in the new, more stringent, 2012 Euro NCAP test include the latest Volkswagen Golf Mk7, Skoda Rapid, Vauxhall Mokka, revised Ford Fiesta and Kuga, Mercedes-Benz A-class, Seat Leon and Toledo, Fiat 500L, Hyundai Santa Fe and the new Range Rover.

However, the Dacia Lodgy MPV, due in the UK in 2013, scored a disappointing three stars. Following a similar three-star result for the Dacia Duster, Euro NCAP has raised question marks over the Dacia brand’s safety performance.

Watch the video of the Euro NCAP crash test for the VW Golf MkVII.


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VW Golf and Vauxhall Mokka perform well

The newly launched seventh-generation VW Golf scored similarly to the model it replaces, with a 94% overall score for adult occupant protection. Euro NCAP praised the addition of new safety equipment for the Golf, including a Multi-Collision Brake system, Front Assist and Proactive Occupant Protection, all of which were rewarded under the new Euro NCAP scoring system. 

Lane Assist is also available. However, the Golf was criticised for not having standard rear seatbelt warning lights, a feature that is now becoming widespread on cars in its class. 

The Vauxhall Mokka SUV was the highest-performing model of the latest batch of tests. Its results of 96% for adult occupant protection and 100% for safety assist equipment make it one of the safest cars ever tested by Euro NCAP.

Mercedes A-class and Ford Fiesta praised

Euro NCAP has also given credit to the advanced safety features on the new Mercedes-Benz A-class. These include Collision Prevention Assist and Attention Assist as standard, with Pre-Safe an optional extra. 

Another innovative feature of the revised 2013 Ford Fiesta is the availability of MyKey, a programmable key that can help parents set speed limits and more insistent seatbelt reminders for young drivers. 

Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, said: ‘Programmable keys open up a whole range of possibilities, not just for parents and their children. The technology will also be of interest to companies with safe-driving policies and I look forward to more widespread application of this sort of system in the future.’

Five-star cars

The full list of 14 new cars tested by Euro NCAP that achieved the full five stars is: Fiat 500L, Ford Fiesta, Ford Kuga, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mercedes-Benz A-class; Mitsubishi Outlander; Vauxhall Mokka, Seat Leon, Seat Toledo, Skoda Rapid, Subaru Forester, Range Rover, Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid and Volkswagen Golf. 

Watch the video of the Euro NCAP crash test of the Dacia Lodgy.


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Dacia raises concerns

The only new car tested by Euro NCAP in the latest round that does not score five stars is Dacia Lodgy, which was given only three stars.

The Lodgy MPV, which is due in the UK in 2013, performed below average in all test areas. In the frontal impact test, the screen pillar was heavily deformed at the top of the windscreen and the roof was bent in front of the B-pillar. The rear passenger floor panel and tunnel were completely separated, extending into the driver’s footwell, while the transmission tunnel was deformed between the front seats. 

In pedestrian protection, the Lodgy’s score of 44 percent compares unfavourably with other cars tested (every other car in this round of tests scored more than 60 percent). The child protection score of 77 percent is described by Euro NCAP as ‘unexceptional and does not live up to the self-acclaimed family vehicle reputation.’ 

The safety organisation also criticises Dacia for deciding not to make electronic stability control standard. This important piece of safety equipment will be mandatory on all new cars in Europe from 2014. 

Dr van Ratingen said: ‘The Lodgy is a budget vehicle and customers will accept compromises in comfort and performance, but not safety. Euro NCAP believes that occupants’ safety should be paramount, regardless
of how much they pay for their vehicle.’

Euro NCAP: 15 years of raising safety standards

Since its inception, Euro NCAP has successfully provided a commercial incentive for manufacturers to improve safety. Strong evidence of this is demonstrated by all but one car in this batch achieving a five-star score, despite NCAP’s more stringent 2012 requirements.  

More on this…

  • View the full results of the Euro NCAP 2012 crash tests
  • Is your child sitting safely? Check out our independent reviews of the best child car seats
  • Read our guide to the best car safety features to look for

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