Crash test news

The latest safety ratings from Euro NCAP

The AA was a founder member of Euro NCAP in 1997

The AA was a founder member of Euro NCAP in 1997

When Euro NCAP started in 1997 it published two star ratings for each car – an adult occupant protection rating based on frontal and side impact tests, and a pedestrian protection ratin

Initially the maximum award for each was four stars though this was increased to five stars for adult occupant protectection after a few years to recognise improvements in car design.

November 2013

Euro NCAP rounded out 2013 by publishing crash test results for eleven new models. 

There were five star ratings for six models: the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Maserati Ghibli, Mazda 3, Infiniti Q50, Peugeot 308 and Ford Tourneo Connect.

The remaining five models all achieved four-star overall ratings: Volkswagen T5, Nissan Note, Mercedes-Benz Citan, Ford Ecosport, and the all-electric BMW i3.

October 2013

Euro NCAP released the first results of rear-end crash avoidance systems and will give credit in its rating scheme from January 2014 to vehicle manufacturers that equip their models with effective forward collision warning and/or automatic braking technology (AEB).

There are currently two types of AEB system:

  • ‘AEB City’ works at low driving speeds to reduce rear end crashes often associated with whiplash neck injuries.
  • ‘Inter-Urban AEB’ works at higher speeds and targets fatal and serious injury crashes that may be caused by driver inattentiveness or distraction.

Euro NCAP focuses on the automatic braking function in its AEB City tests up to 50 km/h. and tested the performance of  systems on 6 vehicles:

(Euro NCAP tests result in scores of between 0 and 3 points, which translates to Good, Adequate or Marginal.)

  • Good - Mercedes Benz E-Class - PRE-SAFE Brake
  • Good - Volvo V40 - City Safety & Collision Warning with Full Auto-Brake
  • Good - Mitsubishi Outlander - Forward Collision Mitigation
  • Adequate - Volvo XC60 - City Safety
  • Adequate - Fiat 500L - City Brake Control
  • Adequate - Ford Focus - Active Ci

At higher driving speeds systems include a warning to the driver and Euro NCAP assesses the system performanceboth where the driver brakes and where there is no reaction to the warning. Systems are tested for their ability to avoid and mitigate crashes up to speeds of 80 km/h.

Five vehicles were tested for AEB Inter-urban:

  • Good - Mercedes Benz E-Class - PRE-SAFE Brake
  • Good - Volvo V40 - City Safety & Collision Warning with Full Auto-Brake
  • Good - Volkswagen Golf VII - Front Assist
  • Adequate - Mitsubishi Outlander - Forward Collision Mitigation
  • Marginal - Honda Civic - Collision Mitigation Brake System

Also in October, Euro NCAP released four new crash test results.  The Suzuki SX4, Peugeot 2008, Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and Jeep Cherokee all achieved a five-star overall rating.

September 2013

In early September Euro NCAP published results for five cars. The superminis Vauxhall Adam and Mitsubishi Space Star/Mirage both scored four stars. The small family Toyota Corolla and the large family Lexus IS 300h and Mazda 6 achieved a five star overall rating.

At the end of the month, Euro NCAP released results for the Qoros 3 and the new Kia Carens. The small MPV Kia Carens achieved the maximum five star rating as did the Qoros 3, a first in Euro NCAP's programme for a car developed in China. The small family car showed good overall protection with high scores in all four areas of

assessment and is a significant step up from previous Chinese exports tested by Euro NCAP.

June 2013

Euro NCAP released results for 2 new cars, the Citroen C4 Picasso and the Honda CR-V both of which achieved a 5 star overall rating.

Euro NCAP also announced Advanced rewards for Autonomous Emergency Braking systems: the Mitsubishi Forward Collision Mitigation, available on the Mitsubishi Outlander tested in 2012 and the FIAT City Brake Control available as an option on the FIAT Panda and FIAT 500L.

March 2013

Euro NCAP announced the results for four new cars to coincide with the Geneva motorshow. The Renault Zoe, Skoda Octavia, Toyota Auris and RAV4 all achieved an overall five star rating.

Euro NCAP also rewarded Skoda for a number of active safety systems available on the Skoda Octavia: Front Assistant, Lane Assistant, Multi Collision Brake and Crew Protect Assistant.

December 2012

Euro NCAP has publishd results for a group of business and family vans using protocols that are more true-to-life than the current legal tests for these van-based vehicles. As a result of these tests, EuroNCAP called on manufacturers to offer these vehicles with higher levels of safety equipment and for legislators to review their lenient legal safety requirements.

In the tests, the Ford Transit Custom was the only vehicle to score five stars. The Hyundai H1 scored three stars. The Fiat Scudo also scored three stars while the Renault Trafic scored two stars. The Fiat Scudo is available as the Peugeot Expert and Citroen Jumpy.

Also in December the Toyota Aygo and its twins, the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107, achieved 3 stars in Euro NCAP's latest tests.  All three cars have recently been facelifted from previous models that achieved four star ratings for adult occupant protection back in 2005.

The current model of Aygo and its twins lack basic items such as side impact airbags and electronic stability control as standard equipment, but in response to Euro NCAP's tests, Toyota and PSA Peugeot-Citroen have commited to making the following items standard fit in the Aygo, C1 and 107 by July 2013: side thorax airbag, side head curtain airbag, electronic stability control, passenger seatbelt reminder, ISOFIX and top-tether in rear outboard seats.

November 2012

Euro NCAP releases the results of 15 cars and rewards several new advanced driver assistance technologies under its Advanced assessment scheme. The cars rated are: Dacia Lodgy; FIAT 500L; Ford Fiesta; Ford Kuga; Hyundai Santa Fe; Mercedes-Benz A-Class; Mitsubishi Outlander; Vauxhall Mokka; SEAT Leon; the Skoda Rapid and its twin, the SEAT Toledo; Subaru Forester; the new Range Rover; Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid; and the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf.

All cars have been awarded five stars apart from the Dacia Lodgy, rated as a three star vehicle.

At a time when several manufacturers are scoring almost full marks in one or more areas of assessment, the Dacia Lodgy performed below average in all areas of safety. Dacia has decided not to make electronic stability control as standard equipment, exploiting the last possible opportunity before the technology became mandatory.

At the other end of the cost scale, the Range Rover and the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid have both performed well. The V60 Plug-In Hybrid has scored very similarly to its conventionally-engined counterpart, assessed last year, despite the hybrid powertrain adding nearly 350kg.

In contrast, the Range Rover has shed some kilograms, weighing over 200kg less than the car previously tested by Euro NCAP. Euro NCAP understands that, despite generally good results and a five star rating, the Range Rover will soon be equipped with an improved head restraint to bring whiplash protection in line with expectations for a car of this quality.

The new Golf has scored similarly to its predecessor in most areas but sets a new benchmark by including several advanced driver assistance technologies. The Golf is available with a Multi Collision Brake system, Front Assist and Proactive Occupant Protection, all newly rewarded by Euro NCAP Advanced, as well as Lane Assist. However, despite its impressive array of advanced systems, the car misses out on a standard-fit rear seatbelt reminder, a feature which is commonplace in many cars today.

Other cars fitted with advanced driver technologies are Mercedes-Benz’s entry-level car, the A-Class, and the Ford Fiesta.

The A-Class gets Collision Prevention Assist and Attention Assist as standard equipment, with PRE SAFE available as an option.

The Fiesta is offered with MyKey, a programmable key system that allows some safety-critical characteristics of the car to be tailored to particular drivers. For the Fiesta, that may allow parents to help their children drive responsibly, with limits on maximum speed and more insistent seatbelt reminders.

Programmable keys open up a whole new range of possibilities, not just for parents and their children. The technology will also be of interest to companies with safe-driving policies.

August 2012

EuroNCAP published results for six new models - the Audi A3, Ford B-MAX, Isuzu D-Max, Kia Cee’d, Renault Clio and Volvo V40.

With a creditable four star rating, safety on board the new Isuzu D-Max is significantly improved compared to the model tested in 2008 which only acheived a struck-through two star rating for adult occupant protection and just one star for pedestrian protection.

With its rear sliding doors and innovative design, the Ford B-MAX has achieved five stars. Ford has done away with the middle columns (B-pillars) on the B-MAX that usually separate the front and rear passenger compartments but a structure is incorporated into the doors to form a central post when the doors are shut. Euro NCAP found that safety was uncompromised as the B-MAX scored 92% for adult occupant protection. The mini MPV also comes with Active City Safety, an AEB system previously rewarded under Euro NCAP Advanced, which helps the driver achieve maximum braking effectiveness in an emergency situation.

The new Volvo V40 achieved five stars and is Euro NCAP’s all time top scorer in its segment. What particularly distinguishes the V40 from other vehicles is the world-first Pedestrian Airbag technology, fitted as standard on the entire V40 range. In case of a crash with a pedestrian, sensors detect the impact, release the bonnet and deploy the airbag in a split second. The pedestrian airbag lifts the bonnet and partly covers the stiff A-pillars providing greater protection for the pedestrian. In Euro NCAP’s tests, this has translated into a 88% score in pedestrian protection, the highest score yet achieved in this part of the assessment.

The latest models of Renault Clio, Kia Cee’d and Audi A3 all achieved five star ratings, and compared to their respective predecessors all offer significantly improved pedestrian protection.

May 2012

Four cars, the BMW 3 Series, Hyundai i30, Mazda CX-5 and Peugeot 208 all received Euro NCAP’s maximum five star rating.

Euro NCAP’s 5 star requirements are more challenging in 2012, especially in the area of pedestrian protection where the minimum score required has been increased significantly.

The BMW 3 Series achieved a commendable 78% in pedestrian protection, a good result for a compact executive car with no active bonnet.

The Peugeot 208 scored 61% for pedestrian protection, only just clearing the 2012 5 star threshold of 60%.

The Mazda CX-5 scored 64% and the Hyundai i30 67%.

The Mazda CX-5 scored maximum points in both side impact tests - the side barrier and the pole test.

Both the Mazda CX-5 and BMW 3 Series offer Autonomous Emergency Braking System (AEBs). Such systems act independently of the driver to stop the car, or to reduce its speed, if a collision is imminent.

The CX-5 is a good example for other manufacturers to follow as it has AEB fitted largely as standard equipment across Europe. If all cars were fitted with AEB systems, many crashes could be mitigated or avoided altogether on European roads.

Audi Pre Sense front plus

Audi has received a Euro NCAP Advanced reward for its ‘Pre Sense front plus’ technology.

The Audi pre sense front plus technology is available on the Audi A6, which achieved 5 stars in 2011. With two long range radars positioned at the front of the car, the system can detect vehicles ahead which the car is likely to hit unless action is taken by the driver.

November 2011

In November Euro NCAP published results for fourteen new cars.

Six achieved four stars: two Chinese newcomers, Geely Emgrand EC7 and MG6, and the Fiat Panda, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jaguar XF and the Renault Fluence ZE.

The Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Rio, Mercedes-Benz B-Class and C-Class Coupe, the Ranger Rover Evoque, Subaru XV, VW Beetle and VW up! were all awarded the top safety rating of five stars.

The VW up!’s five star rating applies to the structurally identical SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo.

Four star ratings for the MG6 and Geely Emgrand EC7 underline the manufacturers’ desire to improve the safety record of Chinese brands in Europe.

The four star rating for the all-electric Renault Fluence ZE puts it on a par with the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, but behind other electric vehicles such as the Nissan LEAF and Opel Ampera tested earlier in the year.

Euro NCAP Advanced

Ford is rewarded for its Driver Alert and Forward Alert systems on the Focus, making the car the first that offers 4 rewarded technologies.

Mercedes-Benz is rewarded for Attention Assist and Collision Prevention Assist, Vauxhall for Adaptive Forward Lighting and Volkswagen for City Emergency Braking.

The Subaru XV is the first model rewarded by Euro NCAP with a fully automatic passenger airbag activation system.  The front passenger airbag is only activated when an occupant of a suitable size is detected in the seat, effectively minimizing the risk for younger children seated on that position.

October 2011

This month’s top scorers with five stars are the Audi Q3, BMW 1 series, Chevrolet Captiva, Fiat Freemont, Ford Ranger, Hyundai Veloster, Mercedes M-Class, Vauxhall Astra GTC and Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, Lancia Thema and Toyota Yaris. The Lancia Voyager was awarded four stars.

The Ford Ranger is the first pickup to achieve a five star rating. This third generation model marks a significant improvement over the 2 star adult occupant rating of the previous Ranger in 2008.

With a softer and well-engineered front end, absorbing the impact energy and better protecting pedestrians the Ranger’s 81% pedestrian score is the highest score recorded for pick-ups tested by Euro NCAP so far and sets a new standard. 

Other vehicles that obtained good scores for pedestrian protection include the BMW 1 Series, the Mercedes M-Class and the Toyota Yaris, all scoring more than 60% of available points.

From 2012 a 60% pedestrian protection score will be the minimum required for an overall five star rating from 2012 onwards.

The BMW 1 Series is fitted with the Assist Advanced eCall, an automatic emergency call system rewarded under Euro NCAP Advanced.

The Fiat Freemont, the Mercedes M-Class, the Lancia Thema and Voyager are equipped with active bonnets to improve pedestrian protection. Sensors detect when a pedestrian has been struck and actuators lift the bonnet to provide greater clearance to hard structures underneath.

August 2011

In August Euro NCAP released 5-star ratings for the Audi A6BMW X3, Chevrolet Aveo and Orlando, Citroën DS5, Hyundai i40, Vauxhall Ampera, Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet and Jetta.

The Kia Picanto received an overall rating of 4 stars.

The Vauxhall Ampera acheived maximum points in the side pole test as a result of a well optimized balance of structure, interior and restraint system.

The Chevrolet Aveo and Orlando achieved good whiplash and adult occupant protection scores - the previous Aveo made headlines with a poor 'struck-through two star' adult occupant result.

Pedestrian protection scores are generally still lagging behind. The Opel Ampera, Audi A6 and Citroën DS5 only just meet Euro NCAP's 2011 pedestrian requirements for a 5 star rating but none of the cars in this release would meet the more stringent requirement for a 5-star award coming into effect from January 2012.

A few car makers have already stepped up, showing much higher pedestrian scores such as the recently tested Ford Focus.

Important advanced safety systems are being offered on more and more models too. Citroën's DS5 is fitted with the Citroën Localized Emergency Call, a PSA Peugeot-Citroën technology recognised in 2010 under Euro NCAP Advanced. The new medium-sized SUV BMW X3 comes with eCall, a system that can automatically notify emergency services in the event of a crash.

As well as these overall safety ratings Euro NCAP made an Advanced award to the Mazda Rear Vehicle Monitoring System available on the Mazda 3 tested in 2009. This technology detects and warns the driver of an approaching vehicle and helps to avoid common lane change related crashes involving two or more vehicles.


May 2011

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

The all-electric Nissan LEAF became the first of its kind to score a five-star rating in the latest set of crash test results released by Euro NCAP, proving that electric cars can be just as safe as petrol/diesel cars.

The latest generation Ford Focus also scored a five-star rating as well as winning recognition for two of its active safety and driver assistance systems – Active City Stop and Lane Keeping Aid.

Volvo's V60 also bagged five-stars and scored 100% in the 'safety assist' category thanks to standard-fit ESC (electronic stability control), seatbelt reminder and a driver-set speed limitation device. The car also has Volvo's City Safety system fitted which was recently rewarded under Euro NCAP Advanced.

Peugeot's new 508, Citroen's DS4 and the Lexus CT200h also achieved a five-star rating.

The 508 did particularly well in the rear-end/whiplash injury test while both the 508 and DS4 had relatively poor scores in pedestrian protection – close to the lower limit currently set by Euro NCAP for a five-star rating.

Euro NCAP will make it more difficult to score an overall five-star rating from 2012 by raising the bar on the level of pedestrian protection required.

February 2011

Euro NCAP published the results of seven new vehicles, including its first test of a fully electric car.

The four-star rating for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV shows that safety does not need to be compromised in zero-emissions vehicles. The i-MiEV shares its rating with its twin models, the Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot iOn, which have the same design and safety equipment.

Plug-in electric vehicles are tested with live batteries and the cars are exposed to the same test conditions as the other cars in the programme. Special attention is given to post-crash battery integrity and the proper functioning of the battery cut-off switch that isolates the high-voltage battery in the event of a crash.

Extra safety precautions are taken before, during and after the crash tests which can only be performed at laboratories with specially-trained personnel. Extra fire-fighting measures are taken to ensure the safety of laboratory personnel and equipment but no electrical or fire hazards were detected during the testing of the i-MiEV.

Other ratings published this month were for the Dacia Duster, which with an overall rating of three stars, failed to impress Euro NCAP. In contrast, the Mitsubishi ASX and the Nissan Juke achieved five-star ratings.

Five stars were also awarded to the Hyundai ix20, twin of the KIA Venga tested in 2010. Both cars have identical safety equipments and interior fittings and are expected to perform identically.

The Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system, available on the Infinity FX tested in 2009 received a Euro NCAP Advanced reward. LDP is a camera-based technology that helps drivers return the vehicle to its travelling lane when an unintentional lane departure is likely.

November 2010

Euro NCAP released crash test results for fourteen cars, including the first Chinese-manufactured vehicle it has tested. Ten cars achieved a maximum five stars, three received four stars and one received a two star result.

In comparison to competitive vehicles in this segment, the Chinese Landwind CV9 remains poorly equipped, lacking a side protection airbag, a head protection device and electronic stability control.

The car was limited to a two star rating by its overall performance although it came close to meeting the three-star threshold for adult occupant protection.

It's clear that vehicles from China, India and other emerging countries will become commonplace on European roads. By highlighting differences in safety performance Euro NCAP is helping to drive the safety of all cars towards and beyond the high levels we see from more established manufacturers.

The Kia Venga has been reassessed shortly after its market introduction and has been awarded five stars.

The Nissan Micra was awarded four stars as, surprisingly, was the Jaguar XF – its rating limited by adult and child occupant protection.

The Volkswagen Amarok received four stars and is the pickup offering best pedestrian protection.

The Volkwagen Sharan and the new SEAT Alhambra (with exactly the same platform, interior fittings and levels of safety equipment) were both awarded five stars, as were the Audi A1, the BMW Mini Countryman, the Ford C-MAX and Ford Grand C-MAX, the Kia Sportage, the Vauxhall Meriva and the facelifted Volkswagen Passat.

October 2010

Euro NCAP's 'Advanced' award

Euro NCAP's 'Advanced' award

At this year's Paris Motorshow Euro NCAP launched 'Advanced', the latest initiative from the new car crash test group as they respond to the rapid development of new car safety technologies for which there is no independent assessment.

'Advanced' is open to any technical system that has a proven safety benefit, whether it helps prevent crashes, reduce injuries speed up the authorities' response to an incident. Systems must be available as an option on one of the Euro NCAP tested cars and not already addressed by the current star rating.

Euro NCAP's standard safety rating for new car models consists of an independent verification of a car by Euro NCAP based on crash tests and published protocols.

In contrast to Euro NCAP's normal safety assessment based on whole-vehicle crash tests, the 'Advanced' assessment is based entirely on a review of data provided by the car manufacturer. Data is analysed by a team of experts appointed by Euro NCAP.

Manufacturers must additionally identify what the safety impact of their technology may be in European countries, taking into consideration the different infrastructure, jurisdictions and driver behaviours.

Most of the first group of systems rewarded at the Paris Motor Show were developed a few years ago and have been in the marketplace for at least a year or two.

In the future, Euro NCAP Advanced will be able to use the methodology to assess completely new technologies, tackling areas of safety which have not yet been addressed.

The first safety systems rewarded by Euro NCAP Advanced are:

  • Audi – Side Assist (Blind spot monitoring)
  • BMW – Assist Advanced eCall (Automatic emergency call/eCall)
  • Honda – Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) (Pre-crash system/autonomous emergency braking)
  • Mercedes-Benz – PRE-SAFE® and PRE-SAFE® Brake (Pre-crash system/autonomous emergency braking)
  • Vauxhall – Eye (Lane support system)
  • Peugeot – Connect SOS (Automatic emergency call/eCall)
  • Citroen – Localized Emergency Call (Automatic emergency call/eCall)
  • Volkswagen – Lane Assist (Lane support system)
  • Volvo – City Safety (Autonomous Emergency Braking)

(updated 30 December 2013)