Fleet News

Superminis make the grade

LATEST European crash tests have shown superminis and city cars - once considered too small to offer fleet drivers adequate crash protection - are becoming safer. And the dramatic improvements in small car safety could further accelerate moves by fleets to downsize to the supermini sector.

Somerfield business executive Dug Brown is anticipating a sharp growth in the number of superminis and smaller cars on his 1,600-vehicle fleet due to tax changes for company car drivers. He said: 'The smaller cars traditionally have not been as safe, so the fact that these results are so good is very encouraging. Quite a few of our drivers have families, so safety is very important to them.'

David Lee, who manages John Laing's fleet of 2,400 cars, has 275 Vauxhall Corsa models which rose from a two- to a three-star rating in the tests. Lee said: 'We still use the test results, which are very important to us when choosing vehicles.' The Fiat Punto and Volkswagen Lupo achieved top ratings with four stars in the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests, and all but one of the cars scored a higher safety rating than the top performer in the first round of tests in 1997.

Max score 4. Front and side safety - Pedestrian safety

  • Fiat Punto - 4 - 2
  • VW Lupo - 4 - 2
  • MCC Smart - 3 - 2
  • Hyundai Atoz - 3 - 2
  • Vauxhall Corsa - 3 - 2
  • Honda Logo - 2 - 2
  • Lancia Ypsilon - 2 - 2

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