Euro NCAP has released the test results of two new cars. The BMW 5 Series gets a five-star safety rating while Fiat’s made-over Doblò gets a less impressive three stars.
Launched late last year, the seventh-generation BMW 5 Series continues its successful track record in Euro NCAP’s Executive Car segment.
The car showed good all-round performance in crash protection and avoidance tests thanks to its new platform, body and updated safety features. Track tests demonstrated that the autonomous braking system can effectively assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating critical rear-end crashes with other cars and pedestrians. With an 81% score, the 5-series particularly impressed in pedestrian safety through its standard-fit “Person Warning” system and active bonnet.
Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, was disappointed by some aspects of the BMW’s performance in testing. He said: “Although the BMW 5 Series achieved a five-star rating, with a host of great active safety systems to avoid crashes and protect pedestrians, its passive performance was a concern. In the full-width frontal test, the driver’s knee airbag did not deploy correctly, allowing for potentially high forces on the knee, femur and pelvis. While we applaud the strides BMW has made in active safety, we hope that doesn't come to the detriment of its strong passive safety record.”
Thirteen years after tests on the original Fiat Doblò, Euro NCAP has taken another look at the small MPV. The latest generation Doblò was introduced in 2010 but facelifted in 2015 and is also sold by Vauxhall as Combo.
Its three-star Euro NCAP safety rating, however, reveals the car’s true age and highlights the lack of ambition to compete on safety with other, more modern competitors in the segment.
The Vauxhall Combo has not received a similar facelift, so would be expected to end up with even fewer stars.
Avery added: “This is another Fiat doing the absolute minimum from a safety perspective, with no AEB fitted. There are family vehicles out there which offer far greater levels of protection.”
Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen, said, “Fiat’s line-up now features several cars that have been on the market for a long time and their safety is well behind the class leaders. Vauxhall have made a clear decision not to implement the changes that Fiat made to get to a three-star rating, but instead have focused their attention on a complete new Combo, that is being co-developed with its new owners, PSA, and which Euro NCAP expects to test early next year.”
The poor result for Fiat, which is part of the FCA Group, is contrasted by an exceptional performance by the Alfa Romeo Giulia last year, which achieved the highest ever score for passenger protection by Euro NCAP.