Having crash tested 53 new cars last year Euro NCAP has released details of top performing models in each category. The 'winners' all achieved five-star ratings and showed good scores in each of Euro NCAP's four areas of assessment.
The top scorers in each category were:
Small off-road 4x4 category: Audi Q3
Supermini category: Chevrolet Aveo
Small family category: Ford Focus
Small MPV category: Mercedes-Benz B-Class
Large family category: Volvo V60
The Ford Ranger and Nissan LEAF were also singled out for commendation; the Ranger for being the safest pickup tested by the organisation and for scoring highly in all areas, most notably in pedestrian protection. The LEAF, the first electric car to achieve a five-star rating, was exposed to the same kind of testing as a petrol-powered car and placed itself amongst the safest small family cars.
Euro NCAP rewarded several manufacturers for their advanced safety features that go above and beyond the current rating scheme. The Ford Focus with its Active City Stop, Driver Alert and Lane Keeping Aid was commended alongside the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and Volvo V60 for their respective Collision Prevention Assist and City Safety systems.
"With Euro NCAP Advanced, we have already recognized a number of technologies offering safety benefits to consumers," said Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP Secretary General "The safety case for Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems (AEB) is very strong and we are therefore strongly encouraging manufacturers to increase the availability of such systems on new cars. We are well underway to add the assessment of these systems to the overall rating and to make these systems a requirement for five stars in the future."
Of all the cars tested eleven scored four stars with the Dacia Duster being the poorest performer in 2011 with only a three-star score.
Paul Healy - 1 Feb 2012