Fiat Ducato and Ford Transit top Euro NCAP van safety ratings - Select Van Leasing
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Fiat Ducato and Ford Transit top Euro NCAP van safety ratings

The Fiat Ducato has been crowned as the safest LCV by Euro NCAP, when it was put through its paces alongside 17 other vans, despite 2023’s more demanding testing meaning the Fiat dropped from its previous Platinum rating down to Gold.

The Ducato wasn’t alone in the top spot, though, as the Ford Transit was also awarded a Gold rating, making them the two highest-scoring vans out of the group tested. 

The Mercedes-Benz Vito was awarded Gold back in 2021, but the Vito only achieved a silver score under the more stringent testing regime now in place. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Nissan Primastar, Renault Trafic, Volkswagen Crafter and Volkswagen Transporter also made it into the silver spot.

The Citroen Dispatch, Citroen Relay, Iveco Daily, Peugeot Boxer, Peugeot Expert, Renault Master, Toyota Proace, Vauxhall Vivaro and Vauxhall Movano all achieved a Bronze rating.

It was a less than successful outing for Nissan, though, as its Interstar failed to hit the mark and, thanks to its lack of basic accident avoidance technology, was rated as ‘Not Recommended'. 

While 2023 has seen an update in the Euro NCAP testing, it is set to become even more demanding in 2026, when manufacturers will be expected to include the same advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in van ranges as passenger cars. Van ratings will then only consider equipment fitted as standard across all European markets.

These new, more stringent requirements around ADAS will place a greater emphasis on vulnerable road users, including pedestrian safety. There will also be a focus on night-time scenarios and cyclists and the introduction of a single van-to-car crash procedure.

“Safety technologies and innovative solutions are developing at a fast pace,” 

explained Michiel van Ratingen, secretary-general at Euro NCAP.

“Euro NCAP must develop its criteria to ensure that manufacturers maintain the impetus to innovate and make available the latest safety technologies in all vehicles on European roads. Just because vans are used for commercial purposes does not mean they should be any less safe than passenger cars. Under Euro NCAP’s plans by 2026, vans will be expected to meet the same ADAS requirements as passenger cars.”

These developments have been welcomed by automotive risk intelligence company Thatcham Research — the UK’s only Euro NCAP-accredited testing centre. 

“As a society, our reliance on commercial vans shows no sign of declining anytime soon,” 

commented Chief research strategy officer Matthew Avery. 

“When one of the millions of vans on UK roads is involved in a collision, impact severity tends to be higher than that of a passenger vehicle, which is why Euro NCAP’s rating is focused on the performance of safety technologies that avoid or mitigate crashes.
“With 13.5% of the whole vehicle fleet comprising of vans, it’s important that van drivers, and those sharing the roads with them, are protected. This latest set of results demonstrates that manufacturers are responding positively, and it’s of note that the UK’s most popular commercial van, the Ford Transit, secured a ‘Gold’ rating.
“However, the fitment of crash avoidance technology seen on vans has some way to go before gaining parity with the high levels of standard fitment we enjoy on cars today.”

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Thursday, 16/05/2024