Fleet News

Focus, Astra and A-class in latest round of crash tests

CRASH tests results on six lower medium sector cars including the Ford Focus - the 1999 European Car of the Year - and the new Vauxhall Astra will be announced on January 26. The crash tests, carried out under the European New Car Assessment Programme, will also see verdicts published on the performance of the Ford Escort, Nissan Almera, Renault Megane and Mercedes-Benz A-class.

Although the crash test performance of the six cars remains a closely-guarded secret one insider told Fleet NewsNet: 'The results are varied. Some are good, while some are pretty poor.' The crash test performances of the six lower medium sector cars - and particularly the new Focus, Astra and A-class - will be released seven months after the first round of lower medium sector car crash testing when the verdicts on 12 cars were delivered.

Under the Euro NCAP crash test scheme superminis, upper medium and executive cars have also been given a rating and increasingly the results are being used by fleet managers in establishing vehicle choice lists. Although some manufacturers remain critical of the programme, the attention they give the results - underlined by Renault's request for the Megane to be retested - and in subsequent publicity underlines the increasing significance of the Euro NCAP scheme in determining vehicle sales.

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