European car-safety experts release crash-test results that see eight of nine vehicles achieving five-star ratings.
Thatcham Research says the eight – Citroen DS 7 Crossback, Jaguar E-Pace, BMW X3, Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Subaru XV, Subaru Impreza and the reassessed Honda Civic – all have autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems as standard.
The U.K.’s Thatcham Research, a member of the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) since 2004, says the latest results are a strong showing by the automakers that submitted the cars for testing.
“It is encouraging that drivers of all eight cars will be supported by standard-fit AEB – a technology which is proven to reduce accidents.” Thatcham head of research Matthew Avery says in a statement. “As two cars aimed at the family market, the Honda Civic and the Subaru Impreza’s suite of safety technologies are especially welcome.”
The Impreza also comes with AEB that detects pedestrians. Both it and the Civic come with standard lane-keeping aids, which gently steer a drifting vehicle away from lane markings.
“Subaru is often an unsung safety hero, despite a very strong safety record achieved over the years,” Avery says.
The Honda Civic was reassessed following a Euro NCAP four-star rating in its initial test, due to a curtain-airbag-deployment issue. This was corrected by Honda, earning the Civic its maximum five-star rating.
Another vehicle with class-leading results was the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, the first pickup to achieve a Euro NCAP five-star rating for its standard equipment since the Ford Ranger in 2012. The safety-assist score of 77% achieved by the X-Class is the highest ever in the pickup category, as is its child-occupant score of 87%.
Euro NCAP says in a statement the only car in the latest testing not to get top marks was the all-electric Citroen e-Mehari, rated at three stars.
Citroen’s quirky, beach-resort vehicle, the e-Mehari harks back to the Mehari which began production in the sixties. NCAP says that with standard airbags and seatbelt load-limiters and pre-tensioners, the e-Mehari offers satisfactory crash protection, but its star rating is limited by a lack of driver assistance.
Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen says the ratings continue to represent outstanding engineering achievements.
“This should not be taken for granted, given the fact that Euro NCAP’s rating regime now includes over 15 different tests and hundreds of individual requirements, which are strengthened all the time,” he says. “It is very positive that manufacturers still see a five-star rating as the target for most new vehicle models.”
Van Ratingen says Euro NCAP is preparing for new tests in 2018, in which automobiles’ brake systems that can detect cyclists and mitigate injury will be tested for the first time.
“These new tests and other planned updates will reflect the surge in automated-vehicle functions that we expect to see on the market in the next years,” he says. “Our mission is to help consumers understand how these systems operate, to show what they are capable of and to explain how one day these might save your life.”