The most recent round of the European New Car Assessment Programme has been revealed, with the Lexus and Mazda models included in the test netting the highest five star rating for safety.
For those unfamiliar with Euro NCAP, it comprises a series of collision tests designed to assess the safety of the vehicle in a series of the most common incidents. The test regimen includes an offset front-end collision at 40mph with a vehicle of approximately the same size, a 30mph side-impact collision from a similar vehicle, an 18mph side-impact from a fixed pole simulating typical street furniture and a 25mph collision with a pedestrian.
Together with driver safety aids like autonomous emergency braking and blind spot monitors, these tests are weighted to give an overall rating for the vehicle - currently split so that 50% of the score is adult safety, 20% each goes to child and pedestrian safety with the last 10% of the score coming from the safety assists.
Lexus IS300h - Five Stars
The Lexus managed a fairly blemish-free performance, netting 91% in adult safety, 85% for child safety and 80% for pedestrian safety - putting it amongst the top cars ever tested in each category.
With no signifcant concerns in any department it was only slightly let down by a 66% score in the safety aids category, but overall scored well over the weighted 80% required for a five star rating.
Mazda 6 Tourer - Five Stars
The new 6 Tourer actually outscores the Lexus on adult safety with 92% and also racks up an 81% score in the driver aid category - the base trim model tested coming with a speed limit assistance device missing from the IS300h. Child protection is slightly reduced with testers noting it was difficult to fit some seats and slightly reduced protection for older children, but still nets 77%.
Pedestrian safety was affected by the top edge of the bumper causing pelvis injuries, but it still scored 66% for a weighted score firmly into the 80s and five stars.
Mitsubishi Mirage - Four Stars
The small Mirage (recently roadtested by carwow) scored well on the adult safety with 90%, though the driver's lower leg was at a slightly elevated risk. The lack of safety assists - particularly rear seatbelt warnings - hurt the score in that category but it still scored 55%.
Some issues with child seat fitment particularly for older kids meant a reduced 72% score, but pedestrian safety was a creditable 73%. The Mirage just misses out on a five star score, so should be considered a good four star car.
Vauxhall Adam - Four Stars
Tested in Jam trim, the Adam managed to score well in front impact tests for both adult and child safety, but the pole test revealed potential for chest injuries to the adults. It still netted an aggregate 87% for adult safety and 72% for child safety - again with concerns about restraints for older children as with the Mirage.
Unlike the Mirage, the Adam has a set of safety assists that equal the Mazda 6's 81% score, while the 65% for pedestrian safety almost matches the bigger Mazda, so it too only just misses out on five stars.
EuroNCAP also tested the Toyota Corolla - the European name for a 5 door version of the Toyota Auris that isn't sold in the UK. This also racked up a maxium five star rating, with an excellent 94% on the front impact test, so while you can't buy one in the UK it's certainly worth considering one as a rental next time you're on the continent!