Euro NCAP appraise the new models that are the UK’s safest family cars of 2019
The European New Car Assessment Program (or Euro NCAP if you don’t want to have to regurgitate such a mouthful each time you mention them) tests the safety features of new cars so that you don’t have to leave anything to chance on your next purchase.
Their gathering of data and safety information includes rigorous testing and checks against almost every model available in the European car market.
Family car safety ratings for the new car buyer
So, if you’re in the market for a new car to ferry the kids to school, take care of the weekly shop, or to drop junior at his or her piano classes or football coaching, then this is the rating system you should be taking notice of.
The Euro NCAP winners in their class
It goes without saying that the winners of each classification all scored a full 5-star rating.
To garner the prime position as ‘best in class’, these models had to prove themselves the most impressive amongst the competition of cars of their size and category.
- Safest family supermini: The Renault Clio
- Safest family hatchback: The Mercedes A-class
- Safest family large SUV: The Hyundai NEXO
- Safest family small SUV: The Volkswagen T-Cross
- Safest family large saloon: The Lexus ES
- Safest family small saloon: The Tesla Model 3
- Safest family MPV: The Mercedes B-Class
The Clio tested was the Zen 1.0 TCe. It scored 96% for adult occupant safety, 89% for child occupant, 72% for vulnerable road users and 75% for its safety assist features.
Car safety features include speed assistance, a seatbelt reminder, autonomous emergency braking and forward-collision warnings.
With typical German efficiency in the motoring market, the A-Class (on test was the 180d model) scored the highest of all family hatchback models. Actually, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Mercedes model that doesn’t score the full 5-star rating.
It scored over 90% in all areas of passenger and pedestrian safety and a respectable 75% for safety assist features.
The NEXO (on test: GL model) was awarded the safest ‘large off-road vehicle’ of 2018 and kept its 5-star rating as the safest family large SUV for 2019. The hydrogen-powered vehicle scored particularly well with its safety assist components.
The T-Cross is the smallest of the Volkswagen SUVs, but don’t think that it lacks thought when it comes to its safety features. Scoring highly throughout all rating areas, the T-Cross (on test: 1.0 litre ‘Life’ model) has earned its high rating with an excellent selection of safety assist features that are operational from speeds as low as 4km/hr.
Very few models could compete with the Lexus ES (on test: 300h ‘Comfort’ model) in security and safety in the large saloon class. This executive marque scored just as highly in the hybrid and electric classes as it did with its petrol-powered model.
Tesla Model 3
The stand-out performance of the Model 3 from Tesla (on test: Long Range RWD model) was in the safety assist features.
No other car came anywhere close to the outstanding 94% it scored for its accident avoidance tech.
Key features include how the Autonomous Emergency Braking system performed in response to other vehicles at highway speeds, its intervention in critical situations, lane drift prevention and also voice prompts for speed limit changes, seatbelt reminders (for both front and back seats) and speed limiter.
Apart from being leaders within the alternative fuel market and electric car performance, Tesla also looks like being a trendsetter in keeping its drivers safe using the very latest cutting edge tech.
Hosting features of a similar style and standard to the A-Class, the MPV B-Class option (on test: 180 Progressive Line model) fared just as strongly when it came to the NCAP testing.
Additional 5-star rated family cars with the best safety features
There were plenty of vehicle marques to score the full 5-star rating—don’t think for a second that the aforementioned ‘best in class’ were the only contenders.
Models from Mazda, Skoda, Seat and Toyota all scored the full 5 stars. And why shouldn’t they? So many new cars are now jam-packed with tech, all designed to prevent collisions and protect everyone involved even if the worst-case scenario does happen.
The Skoda Scala scored high in features, presenting not only city braking and lane-assist tech, but also the automatic contact of the emergency services if an accident does happen.
The Volvo V60 will not only steer you out of trouble if you cross a lane and are heading into the path of an oncoming vehicle, but will give you a verbal warning while it does.
It was the Mazda 3 that scored the highest in adult occupant protection with an excellent 98% score, and it was the Toyota Corolla that scored highest for pedestrian protection with a top rating of 86%.
The European New Car Assessment Program
So, why should we trust the ratings of this body as opposed to any other? Well, for starters, Euro NCAP was founded by the Transport Research Laboratory for the UK Department of Transport—back in 1997.
It’s backed by several European governments as well as the European Union. It hosts a list of a dozen independent testers and members, with 8 test facilities spread throughout Europe.
It’s also widely accepted that the overall safety of European automakers has improved; in part, because of the important work carried out by Euro NCAP.
The NCAP family car safety checklist
The standard tests carried out award ‘star ratings’ on each vehicle’s performance in a variety of crash tests:
- Front impact: a 40mph collision with an offset deformable barrier, representative of a head-on collision with a vehicle of similar mass and structure
- Side impact: 31mph collision testing
- Pole impact: 20mph collision testing
- Pedestrian impact: 25mph collision testing
- Rear impact: whiplash testing
Widely featured in the motor press, each vehicle’s results can and do affect the consumer demand for a vehicle.
In historical cases, vehicle design has been reworked due to NCAP findings in order to meet safety standards for both passengers and pedestrians and to gain back customer confidence.
Up-to-the-minute family car safety rankings
For further information about the safest family car checks, head over to the Euro NCAP website. It provides the most up-to-date news and ratings as they happen, offering you the peace of mind you need when it comes to protecting your family.