The results from the car safety organisation Euro NCAP come soon after crash experts in the UK urged fleets to insist that all the cars on their choice lists have a five-star rating for crash protection.
Speaking at the Fleet News Double Jeopardy conference in May, Matthew Avery, crash laboratory manager at Thatcham, also called for fleets to demand that their cars are fitted with the anti-skid traction control device ESP.
He said: ‘When choosing cars for your fleets, look for vehicles with five stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests, proper head protection and electronic stability programs.’
In the latest round of crash tests, Euro NCAP has named the Peugeot 1007 as the highest scoring car ever in all classes for adult occupant protection.
It is one of seven cars that have been awarded a five-star rating alongside the Renault Clio, Mercedes Benz A-class, BMW 3-series, Volkswagen Passat, Lexus GS300 and Vauxhall Zafira.
Euro NCAP officials are also using the release of the latest results to promote the importance of having a stability control system fitted to new cars, saying they dramatically reduce the chances of being involved in an accident.
If a driver misjudges a corner or suddenly swerves to avoid an obstacle, the system can help them avoid a skid or ‘can turn an accident into a near-miss’ officials claim. Transport Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman said: ‘I am pleased that car manufacturers are continuing to improve their ratings in the independent Euro NCAP crash tests and are bringing forward systems that improve car occupant safety.
‘I particularly welcome the uptake of measures to protect occupants during side impact and look forward to seeing further increases in the protective measures provided for this type of accident.
‘But I would urge manufacturers to apply similar effort and ingenuity to protecting our children to redress the disappointing scores for child occupant safety.’
Best-in-class awards also went to the Lexus GS300 in the executive sector and the Mercedes-Benz A-class in the small family sector.
Euro NCAP chairman Claes Tingvall said: ‘It is gratifying to see that more than half of the cars tested in this phase achieved the top five-star rating for adult occupant protection and that three of the cars achieved the best-in-class accolade, giving Europe’s car buyers a wider range of safe cars than ever before to choose from.’
How they fared
Fleets urged to go for secure cars
THE Government is urging company motorists to consider the results of a major car security awards scheme when choosing their next car.
Home Office Minister Hazel Blears believes such a move by fleets will prompt manufacturers to produce cars with even better security features.
Speaking after the results of the British Insurance Car Security Awards were announced, Blears said: ‘I would urge both private motorist and those who buy cars for companies to take these awards into account when deciding which new car to buy.
‘By choosing cars that have qualified for an award, motorists will encourage manufacturers to make further improvements in security to lift standards across the industry.’
A total of 10 categories covered small city cars through to top of the range luxury cars and an overall manufacturer award.
Judges considered 82 models which had at least one variant that met the awards selection criteria. A total of 44 of those complied with the criteria across the entire model range, double that of last year.
Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman said: ‘These awards draw attention to the most secure cars and raise awareness of the New Vehicle Security Ratings scheme. This is good news for the motorist, and all the manufacturers involved fully deserve the recognition the awards bring.’
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: ‘Home Office figures continue to highlight just how hard it has become to steal new cars. The British Insurance Car Security Awards are important because they help show how the investment manufacturers make in new technologies is helping further drive down vehicle crime.’
The awards, hosted by Thatcham, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre, are supported by insurers, the Home Office, Department for Transport, AA Motoring Trust and Advanced Automotive Glazing Manufacturers’ Association.
Award winners in full
1. Citroen C3 Exclusive
2. Skoda Fabia Elegance
1. Citroen C4 Exclusive
2. Ford Focus Ghia and Titanium
3. Audi A3
1. Peugeot 407 Executive
2. Citroen C5 Exclusive
1. Lexus IS 200 saloon
2. Jaguar X Type
3. BMW 3 Series saloon
1. Ford Focus C-MAX Ghia
2. Renault Scenic II Dynamique and Privilege
3. Volkswagen Touran
4. Seat Altea
1. Renault Espace (except Authentique)
Convertible/Roadster (including Cabriolet)
Saab 9-3 Convertible
1. Citroen C4 VTS
Porsche 911 Carrera
4x4 (recreational compact and large>
1. Volkswagen Touareg
2. Toyota Landcruiser
1. Audi A8 3.7 & 4.2 V8 quattro
2. Volkswagen Phaeton 3.2 V6 & 6.0 W12 4Motion
3. Lexus LS430
1. Volvo Car UK S40/V50, C70, XC90, S80 (& S60/V70/XC70 ex S60R/V70R)
2. Audi UK A2, A3, A6 (and A4 ex cabriolet)
3. Mazda Motors UK 3, 6, RX8