The European New Car Assessment Program is celebrating its success with European vehicle manufacturers after all seven vehicles in its latest round of crash tests achieve the top five-star rating.
The tests involved Mercedes-Benz’s first electric off-road vehicle, the EQC, and its second-generation CLA; Skoda’s high-riding Kamiq; the fourth-generation SsangYong Korando; BMW’s latest Z4; the new Audi A1; and the Ford Focus.
Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen (below, left) says it’s great to see automakers’ continued commitment to improved safety.
“From these results, achieving five stars may look so easy, but to meet test and fitment requirements for technology is very demanding and always updated to incorporate the latest technology developments and address priorities in road safety,” he says in a statement.
“Next year will see another step-change in our rating requirements, but our experience shows that manufacturers will be keen to maintain the high standards they have achieved so far and that European consumers will continue to be well served.”
Euro NCAP says the popularity of SUVs and crossovers continues to soar in Europe, attracting new entrants from around the world.
“The C-segment SUV Korando is the first five-star car from South Korea’s SsangYong,” it says. “Well-equipped, and with AEB as standard, the Korando’s rating brings it into line with its competitors.”
Volkswagen Group’s Skoda Kamiq is a sister of the SEAT Arona and Volkswagen T-Cross models. The Kamiq’s five-star rating was identical to that of the car tested earlier this year.
Mercedes-Benz’s battery-electric EQC compact luxury SUV EQC is the first of parent Daimler’s EQ range. The EQC joins Jaguar’s I-Pace and Audi’s e-tron among the BEVs Euro NCAP has tested, and Tesla’s Model X will be assessed later this year.
Van Ratingen says good results were achieved by other newcomers as well.
The latest Mercedes-Benz CLA achieved an outstanding outcome, scoring more than 90% in three of the four areas of safety assessed, he says.
“BMW’s two-seater roadster, the new Z4, scored well all-round but its protection of vulnerable road users was especially impressive, thanks to an active bonnet (hood) that lifts when a pedestrian has been hit.”
Van Ratingen says Audi’s alternative to the Mini, the A1, also performed well.
“A five-star car in 2010, the second-generation small hatchback repeats its top rating against Euro NCAP’s newest test requirements, thanks in part to Audi Pre Sense Front, its standard automatic emergency braking system.
The Ford Focus achieved five stars in 2018, but its marginal front-seat whiplash protection meant it could not capitalize on good results for its AEB system.
“Ford has improved the design of the seats and head restraints and the car now demonstrates good whiplash protection in rear-end collisions and is rewarded for its excellent AEB city performance,” van Ratingen says.