RAC Cars News


Euro NCAP rewards Qoros 3

By raccars Published

The low profile saloon from Chinese brand Qoros has surprised market watchers by receiving the best Euro NCAP safety rating of 2013. In fact, the Qoros 3 was awarded some of the best scores ever given in Euro NCAP testing and the first car from a Chinese firm ever to earn a five star crash test rating.

Among the areas singled out for praise were the robust passenger compartment and passive safety provisions. Adult occupant safety was scored at 95% and pedestrian safety at 77%. A new category for testing this year was safety assistance systems, in which the Qoros 3 achieved 81%. Parents will be interested in the 87% scoring child restraint safety, with Isofix seat fixing points and tethering hooks above and a passenger airbag disconnection option.

The four door, front wheel drive saloon was designed by Gert Hildebrand of Mini fame. It is the first car from the fledgling Chinese manufacturer and is powered by two versions of the same 1.6 litre petrol engine, with six speed manual and automatic transmissions. The overall rating was 88% for the 3, which is due to arrive in Europe next year. A UK release date has yet to be issued.

Another car to receive excellent safety ratings recently was the Kia Carens. The seven seater MPV also saw a five star score, with 94% in adult occupant safety, 76% in child occupant safety, 64% in pedestrian safety and 81% for safety assistance systems.

The Lexus IS was similarly commended, winning the full five stars as a good safety all rounder. The Mazda 6 was another high scorer, with 92% in adult occupant safety and 81% in safety assistance systems.

The new Vauxhall Adam city car and Mitsubishi Mirage were given a respectable but less than stellar score of four out of five. The Adam lagged behind on adult occupant safety, with 87% and was said to lack whiplash protection. The Mirage was let down by its safety assistance systems, with a paltry 55% score.

The European New Car Assessment Programme is the gold standard of auto safety testing. Adherence is voluntary for manufacturers but the system is backed by a number of governments, the European Union and various European motoring organisations and Euro NCAP ratings are given considerable weight by the auto press.

Its modus operandi is to submit new cars to a series of testing procedures, measuring crash impact effects on the car itself, its occupants and pedestrians. European auto manufacturers have significantly improved their safety systems since the introduction of the standardised testing programme.

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