The latest safety test results from Euro NCAP include a five-star rating for the new VW Golf, Ford Puma and the MG ZS EV.
The new Nissan Juke, MG HS and Audi Q8 also achieved top marks in the crash tests.
Less fortunate was the performance from Chinese brand Aiways. Its yet-to-be-released U5 electric SUV scored just three stars due to a poor side impact performance.
Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general at Euro NCAP, said: “It is the first year that we see three Chinese cars tested by Euro NCAP. Clearly the capabilities to engineer safe vehicles in China has leapfrogged over recent years, but the U5 example shows that meeting five-star requirements can still be a hurdle for young companies. None of these issues however can not be overcome and we look forwards to verify the cars’ performance when the shortcomings are effectively addressed”.
The VW Golf achieved the five full stars thanks to excellent crashworthiness and standard fit of number of assist systems. It is the first ever Volkswagen to make use of V2X connectivity (vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to infrastructure) to enable advance hazard warnings, an important new technology that will be soon be included in Euro NCAP’s rating.
VW also facelifted its Up! supermini and its twins the Seat Mii and Škoda Citigo. AEB, available as standard when the cars were last tested in 2011, has been dropped and, despite some new improvements, the cars lose two stars compared to their previous rating.
Ford re-visited the Puma name for its all-new supermini. The small car performed very well, according to Euro NCAP, scoring high marks in all four categories of tests. With five stars under its belt, the Puma has entered the market as one of the safest choices in the lower price segment.
Also new on the market are the MG ZS EV and MG HS, both in the already crowdy compact SUV segment and built and shipped over straight from the Chinese auto conglomerate SAIC Motor. Both achieved a good performance in Euro NCAP’s tests, with the organisation stating that the cars are a “match for many European, Japanese or Korean models”.
Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, said: “The standard of safety has been exceedingly high this year. Of the 55 cars to go through Euro NCAP’s most stringent tests ever, 45 were awarded a five-star rating. When the programme began in 1997, there were claims that achieving a top rating was impossible. We have come a long way since the days when carmakers met only the most basic, mandatory, safety requirements.”