The Toyota Yaris has become the first car to be put through it paces by Euro NCAP following an overhaul to the safety testing regime.
The supermini achieved a five-star rating for safety after being the first car to be subjected to an all-new frontal offset test, which replaces the one previously used since the programme started in 1997, and is the first to feature a counter-measure for injuries in far-side impacts.
The mobile progressive deformable barrier (MPDB) test assesses the protection a car offers its occupants as well as the risks it poses to the car it has crashed into.
The Yaris, in general, does well, its small size and benign front end making it one of the less aggressive crash partners on the road, says Euro NCAP.
Two centre-mounted airbags inflate in side impacts to limit an occupants’ travel to the opposite side of the vehicle and to mitigate the risk of occupant to occupant contact.
The Yaris also showcases the rapid advancements in crash avoidance technology: the latest generation of Toyota Safety Sense now can stop the vehicle during turning to avoid a crash with oncoming traffic.
Euro NCAP’s secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen, said: “Congratulations to Toyota on a top rating for the Yaris. This has been a tough year for all concerned and I am grateful to Euro NCAP’s labs and employees who have worked hard to deliver safety, while staying safe.
“We have had to adapt quickly to new working practices, and it is pleasing that the first car rated this year should have gone so far to address the safety issues that are emerging as top priorities.”
In addition to this new assessment, Audi's e-tron Sportback variant shares its stablemate’s 2019 five-star rating. And Renault’s hybrid variant of the Clio is also added to the list of 2019-rated vehicles, with similar performance to the combustion-engined car tested last year.
Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, said: “We were especially pleased to see the Yaris perform so well in the new far-side impact test, which measures an occupant’s lateral movement towards the opposite side of the vehicle.
“As drivers, we don’t tend to consider the dangers that occupants – usually family or friends – can present to one another during a collision.
“The inclusion of centre airbags to offer compartmentalised protection, and avoid or reduce contact between occupants, is a genuinely encouraging development for crash safety.”
For more from Fleet News on the new Toyota Yaris, click here.