The safest cars according to Euro NCAP

Experts at Euro NCAP rate cars against its five-star safety rating system – the industry benchmark for vehicle safety. The organisation updated its testing regime in 2016, making it tougher than ever to get that coveted five-star rating.

Driverless vehicle technology is finding its way into many modern cars via collision-avoidance features and blind-spot monitoring. The new testing format takes this into consideration so you can see how well a car will protect you before you’ve even had a crash.

A number of changes to the way crash testing is carried out and monitored have resulted in the thresholds for achieving three-, four- and five-star ratings have all been raised. This means a four-star rated car in 2016 might be safer than a five-star one from 2014 or 2015..

Below is a list of the safest new cars tested between 2014 and 2016. If any of these cars take your fancy, put them in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save.

Superminis and city cars

The Honda Jazz was rated the safest supermini of 2015. It offers very impressive adult safety provision for a variety of drivers in numerous seating positions. Maximum points were scored in side barrier impact tests which, coupled with an autonomous emergency braking system and lane-departure warning granted the Honda an exceptional five-star rating.

Supermini and city car results
Car Star rating Adult safety Child safety Pedestrian safety Safety assistance
Honda Jazz (2015) 5/5 93% 85% 73% 71%
Hyundai i20 (2015) 5/5 85% 73% 79% 64%
Mazda 2 (2015) 5/5 86% 78% 84% 64%
Suzuki Baleno (2016) 4/5 80% 73% 65% 43%
Mini Clubman (2015) 4/5 90% 68% 68% 67%
Vauxhall Viva (2015) 4/5 74% 72% 68% 64%

Small family cars

The recently tested Kia Niro Hybrid, with the optional safety pack installed, received an excellent five-star safety rating in the latest 2016 round of tests. Not only did the Niro score maximum points for child protection in side impacts but its onboard safety systems were highly praised for their effectiveness, too.

Small family car results
Car Star rating Adult safety Child safety Pedestrian safety Safety assistance
Kia Niro (2016) 5/5 91% 80% 70% 81%
Hyundai Ioniq (2016) 5/5 91% 80% 70% 82%
Subaru Levorg (2016) 5/5 92% 83% 75% 68%
Infiniti Q30 (2015) 5/5 84% 86% 91% 81%
Vauxhall Astra (2015) 5/5 86% 84% 83% 75%
Honda HR-V (2015) 5/5 86% 79% 72% 71%
Nissan Qashqai (2014) 5/5 88% 83% 69% 79%
Nissan Pulsar (2014) 5/5 84% 81% 75% 68%
Renault Megane (2015) 5/5 88% 87% 71% 71%
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (2014) 5/5 84% 85% 60% 70%
Audi A3 e-tron (2014) 5/5 82% 78% 66% 68%
Renault Kadjar (2015) 5/5 89% 81% 74% 71%

Large family cars

The latest incarnation of Toyota’s eponymous Prius hybrid has scored an admirable five-star rating in the strict 2016 assessment, including full marks for both adult and child protection in the side impact test. Euro NCAP praised the Prius’ emergency braking system for its ability to both avoid potential collisions and spot pedestrians, too. At the posher end of the market the latest Mercedes E-Class has walked away with a five-star score and one of the best scores for child safety yet seen – it’s only been let down by the fact lots of the safety assistance technology isn’t fitted as standard.

Large family car results
Car Star rating Adult safety Child safety Pedestrian safety Safety assistance
Toyota Prius (2016) 5/5 92% 82% 77% 85%
Alfa Romeo Giulia (2016) 5/5 98% 81% 69% 60%
Jaguar XF (2015) 5/5 92% 84% 80% 83%
Jaguar XE (2015) 5/5 92% 82% 81% 82%
Audi A4 (2015) 5/5 90% 87% 75% 75%
Kia Optima (2015) 5/5 89% 86% 67% 71%
Skoda Superb (2015) 5/5 86% 86% 71% 76%
Mercedes C-Class (2014) 5/5 92% 84% 77% 70%
VW Passat (2014) 5/5 85% 87% 66% 76%
Subaru Outback (2014) 5/5 85% 87% 70% 73%
Ford Mondeo (2014) 5/5 86% 82% 66% 66%
Toyota Avensis (2014) 5/5 93% 85% 78% 81%
Mercedes E-Class (2016) 5/5 95% 90% 77% 62%

Small MPVs

The new Renault Scenic tops the small MPV table with an impressive five-star rating. It scored maximum points for side barrier impacts and was able to shield its occupants from the severe effects of whiplash in a heavy rear-end collision. The Scenic’s ability to protect drivers and passengers of varying sizes was also noted, as was the good performance of its autonomous braking system.

Small MPV results
Car Star rating Adult safety Child safety Pedestrian safety Safety assistance
Renault Scenic (2015) 5/5 90% 82% 67% 59%
VW Golf SV (2014) 5/5 87% 85% 62% 73%
Fiat 500X (2015) 4/5 86% 78% 84% 64%

Large MPVs

The latest large MPVs have been tested by Euro NCAP and Volkswagen’s Touran and Ford’s S-Max and Galaxy have all come away with the top honours. Family buyers arguably care more about safety than any other group so it makes sense that manufacturers focus on this issue.

Large MPV results
Car Star rating Adult safety Child safety Pedestrian safety Safety assistance
Ford Galaxy (2015) 5/5 87% 87% 79% 71%
Ford S-Max (2015) 5/5 87% 87% 79% 71%
Volkswagen Touran (2015) 5/5 88% 89% 71% 76%
Renault Espace (2015) 5/5 82% 89% 70% 80%

Small SUVs

The new Volkswagen Tiguan performed extremely well in the latest round of 2016  Euro NCAP tests, narrowly edging ahead of its SEAT Ateca sibling. Not only did it score impressive 96 and 84 per cent adult and child occupant protection scores respectively, but active systems, including a bonnet that rises up to protect pedestrians from hitting solid engine parts in a collision, helped it to score highly in both pedestrian and safety assistance categories. If you’re in the market for a small SUV in 2017 then the new Peugeot 3008 looks like a safe bet (pardon the pun) – it was tested in September 2016 and secured a solid five-star score.

Small SUV results
Car Star rating Adult safety Child safety Pedestrian safety Safety assistance
Volkswagen Tiguan (2016) 5/5 96% 84% 72% 68%
SEAT Ateca (2016) 5/5 93% 84% 71% 60%
Audi Q2 (2016) 5/5 93% 86% 70% 60%
Mercedes GLC (2015) 5/5 95% 89% 82% 71%
BMW X1 (2015) 5/5 90% 87% 74% 77%
Suzuki Vitara (2015) 5/5 89% 85% 76% 75%
Land Rover Discovery Sport (2014) 5/5 93% 83% 69% 82%
Kia Sportage (2105) 5/5 90% 83% 66% 71%
Mercedes GLA (2014) 5/5 96% 88% 67% 70%
Nissan X-Trail (2014) 5/5 86% 83% 75% 75%
Jeep Renegade (2014) 5/5 87% 85% 65% 74%
Porsche Macan (2014) 5/5 88% 87% 60% 66%
Lexus NX (2014) 5/5 82% 82% 69% 71%
Hyundai Tucson (2015) 5/5 86% 85% 71% 71%
Mazda CX-3 (2015) 4/5 85% 79% 84% 64%
Peugeot 3008 (2016) 5/5 86% 85% 67% 58%

Large SUVs

The Volvo XC90 scored a hugely impressive 100 per cent in the safety assistance category, a feat not matched by any car in any segment. In side impact tests, all major areas were well protected and the Volvo was awarded maximum points. The standard autonomous braking system, which is able to recognise pedestrians and cyclists as well as cars, was highly praised.

Large SUV results
Car Star rating Adult safety Child safety Pedestrian safety Safety assistance
Volvo XC90 (2015) 5/5 97% 87% 72% 100%
Lexus RX (2015) 5/5 91% 82% 79% 77%
Ford Edge (2016) 5/5 85% 76% 67% 89%
Audi Q7 (2015) 5/5 94% 88% 70% 76%
Kia Sorento (2014) 5/5 90% 83% 67% 71%

Roadsters and sports cars

The Audi TT may have only achieved a four-star rating, but it reflects just how stringent the 2015 testing regime had become. In the side barrier test, the Audi scored maximum points, with good protection being offered for all parts of the body. It also provided good protection to all parts of the dummy in the more severe side pole impact tests, where it scored full points. Rivals will have to be exceptionally safe to beat this score.

Roadster and sports car results
Car Star rating Adult safety Child safety Pedestrian safety Safety assistance
Mazda MX-5 (2015) 4/5 84% 80% 93% 64%
Audi TT (2015) 4/5 81% 68% 82% 64%

Cars as safe as houses

If any of the models on this list have caught your eye, head over to our car configurator to see how much you could save on your next car. Or, for more inspiration, take a look at our deals page to see our latest discounts.

Nissan Qashqai

Compact SUV is a great family car
8.9
£18,545 - £29,840
RRP
Read review Compare offers

Mercedes C-Class

Small executive saloon that's luxurious and refined
7.8
£28,545 - £48,050
RRP
Read review Compare offers

Volkswagen Golf SV

Spacious MPV version of the Golf is an excellent family car
7.7
£19,475 - £27,830
RRP
Read review Compare offers
comments powered by Disqus