Safety is hot-on-the-tail of emissions at the top of the list of many motorists when it comes to selecting a brand-new vehicle. For this very reason, more and more manufacturers are beginning to forge their own safety systems as technology advances at a staggering rate. As a result, the safety sector is now one of the most competitive in the industry. It’s lucky that there is an independent respected body on-hand to make sense of the steady trickle of vehicles eking their way out every year. That body is EuroNCAP – one of the industry’s most famous regulatory bodies who grade vehicles based on their safety precautions on a variety of fronts: Adult, Child, Pedestrian and Safety Assist and then make an informed decision based on how well the vehicle scores in each sector, and give it a star out of five.
It’s encouraging news that more and more vehicles are receiving five-star guarantees, so we decided it was a good idea to take a look at those coming up trumps in each field. Among those that you’d expect, there are a few curveballs thrown in there and it’s perhaps interesting to see the manufacturers who are going ‘’all-out’’ when it comes to making your driving experience safer. We’ve tried to measure 2014’s testing against previous models so stand-out performers may have undergone some changes and it’s worth checking out the latest statistics and information on Euro NCAP’s website.
A vehicle with a long-standing legacy, particularly on the content, the Renault Clio is according to EuroNCAP the safest super-mini vehicle currently on the market (as tested in 2012). The vehicle scooped the entire five-star rating, and is very handsome for a car of its stature. Scoring 99% on Safety Assist, it’s very difficult to pick-holes in the Clio when it comes to safety. It's outside the vehicle that scored a little lower, although 66% is still an impressive score for pedestrian - it's only when stacked up against the other fields it seems underwhelming.
SAFEST SMALL FAMILY:
They’d be disappointed if they weren’t among the winners, wouldn’t they? Volvo have left many in their wake for so long when it comes to safety features, that you’d forgive them for being a little surprised when other manufacturers turned up at the palace gates with ideas of their own. The V40 has a sharp appearance, and pocketed all five gold stars from EuroNCAP. Achieving 98% on the adult front, the vehicle secured a table-topping 100% when it comes to Safety Assist. Kerching.
SAFEST LARGE FAMILY:
With 2014’s winner the Ford Mondeo claiming the coveted award, with the C-Class following in a close second the real good is to be found in 2012’s winner. The BMW 3 Series scored consistently well across all fronts with 95% score on Adult and 86% on safety features, it has scored the best of any vehicle since 2009. It scored 84% in the Child Sector, which is bettered by the 2014 VW Passat and Subaru Outback scoring 87% respectively.
SAFEST SMALL SUV:
An extremely competitive field when it comes to safety, it’s refreshing to see so many manufacturers putting a great emphasis on safety features from the Small SUV sector. All of the picks of 2014 scored five-stars , with the Land Rover Discovery Sport taking the limelight for Adult, the GLA child, the X-Trail top-trump for pedestrian and also for safety assist. That makes it marginally the strongest candidate but any of: Jeep Renegade, Lexus NX and Porsche Macan will offer sufficient levels of safety.
2014’s winner was the Tesla Model S – a truly incredible vehicle we think you’ll agree, and it’s perhaps no surprise this vehicle is flowing with the technology which gained all five-stars. If the cost of the Model S is a little fearful, or electric vehicles aren’t really your style then it’s worth casting your eye at the Infiniti Q50 and Maserati Ghibli which achieved the same five-stars, but way back in 2013.