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VW Touareg, Audi A6 and Suzuki Jimny: are these cars safe to drive?

See how well these cars performed in Euro NCAP’s latest tougher safety tests – one scored a disappointing result

The VW Toureg and Audi A6 have been awarded the maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. But others have fared worse, with the all-new Suzuki Jimny scoring a disappointing three stars – any car that scores three stars or less in these safety tests is a Which? Don’t Buy.

The Audi A6 and VW Toureg performed strongly in the very latest safety tests run by car safety body Euro NCAP, with the Audi A6 doing especially well.

The Ford Tourneo Connect scored a solid four out of five stars.

The rigorous lab tests include assessing the car’s ability to protect drivers and passengers against whiplash, and also the efficacy of its Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system – where the car brakes automatically when it detects a crash is imminent.

These AEB tests were recently made even more demanding, including checking how the vehicle detects vulnerable people on the road, such as children and cyclists.

Cars that excel at Euro NCAP’s safety tests are not only good at withstanding an impact, they also have strong active safety systems that act to prevent crashes happening in the first place.

Keep reading for the lowdown on how each car did in Euro NCAP’s latest safety tests.

At Which?, we test hundreds of cars for practicality, emissions and safety. If any of our tested cars fail to get a good safety rating, we make them a Don’t Buy car.

VW Touareg (2019-)

The huge Volkswagen Touareg, aimed at premium buyers, is a joint venture with the Porsche Cayenne. VW claims that the Touareg combines power and strength with true off-road capabilities.

There’s advanced safety tech, too. When the new Touareg’s ‘occupant protection system’ detects a risk of collision, it automatically acts to protect you by tightening the front seat belts, moving the seats upright and closing the doors, windows and sunroof.

The VW Touareg’s full five-star rating success includes a strong performance from its AEB system, including the ability for it to detect cyclists.

However, its Euro NCAP results weren’t perfect. Protection of the chest of the dummy driver and passenger was rated as marginal, rather than good, with excess pressure being placed on the chest during a collision.

We’ll be checking out how the VW Touareg performs at the Which? test lab. In the meantime, see our top recommendations for the best large SUVs.

Audi A6 (2019-)

The Audi A6 is an elegantly styled luxury saloon that competes against rivals, such as the Mercedes-Benz E-classBMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF. It’s packed full of technology, including the latest safety features.

Those tempted by the refined looks of the latest Audi A6 will be pleased by the car’s impressive full five-star rating. A particular highlight is its AEB system’s ability to detect cyclists.

There was an issue in only one of Euro NCAP’s most severe tests, where the car suffers an impact from a metal pole from the side. The ribcage on the test dummy was found to suffer excessive pressure during the impact.

Check back to find out whether the latest Audi A6 is good enough to be a Best Buy when we put it through our in-depth assessments at our lab. Until then, find out which are the top-performing cars in its class – see our best luxury cars.

Suzuki Jimny (2018-)

The third-generation Jimney lasted a remarkable 20 years, but the compact off-roader has now enjoyed an all-new refresh. Suzuki describes the Jimney as an ‘uncompromising serious off-roader’, and it’s built on a rigid ladder frame.

The Suzuki Jimney disappoints in the latest rigorous Euro NCAP safety tests with a three-star rating.

In one Euro NCAP test, the car undergoes an impact at the front, slightly off to one side – the Suzuki Jimney failed to deliver. There was insufficient pressure in the driver’s airbag to prevent the driver’s head coming into contact with the steering wheel, leaving the potential for a horrific accident.

In the impact, the passenger compartment of the car also extensively deformed. In addition, Euro NCAP noted there could be better protection of the driver and passenger in several areas.

Had the the car been tested under Euro NCAP’s previous test programme in 2016, it would likely have achieved five stars.

But drivers should expect the very latest safety standards in their cars. This is why any car that scores three stars or less in Euro NCAP safety tests is automatically a Which? Don’t Buy.

See our best 4x4s for 2018.

Ford Tourneo Connect (2013-)

The Ford Tourneo Connect, updated since Euro NCAP last tested it in 2013, is unique in its car class. It has AEB and lane support as standard, making its occupants safer.

In slow-moving traffic or at speeds up to 50mph, its Pre-Collision Assist system continually measures the distance to the vehicle in front, and can even detect pedestrians that may be about to cross the vehicle’s path. The system will warn you if it detects a potential collision, and if you don’t respond, the car automatically applies the brakes.

This Ford achieves a decent four stars out of five in Euro NCAP’s safety tests, but there’s still room for improvement.

While the passenger compartment of the Ford Tourneo Connect remained stable, and protection of the driver and passenger dummies was reasonable in most areas, one test raised cause for concern.

In the test, the car impacts a barrier the full width of the car. Here, the pelvis area of the driver dummy slipped under the lap portion of the seat belt on impact, leaving a risk for serious injury.

Discover whether this is the ideal practical car for you in our definitive Ford Tourneo Connect review.

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