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Safest new cars according to Euro NCAP

By raccars Published

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Reports released by automotive safety body Euro NCAP show the results of its latest round of crash testing, with UK brand Jaguar scoring particularly well.

The new Vauxhall Astra among the safest new cars

It's good news for Vauxhall as its much awaited new Astra scored the maximum five stars. Vauxhall has embarked upon a huge marketing push for this model so frankly anything else could have been disastrous for what is one of the brand's key models and its second best seller in the UK. Both passenger and pedestrian protection were strong points for the Astra, with the model tested using the Driving Assistance, an optional extra featuring autonomous braking.

The Renault Megane, one of the Astra's main rivals, was also tested recently, even though it won't reach showrooms for about another six months yet. It too achieved the golden five stars. Autonomous braking was not part of the process in this case as it is an optional extra for which Renault does not expect particularly strong demand.

Kia showed that it doesn't compromise on safety despite its budget brand status, with the Sportage compact SUV achieving five stars. The previous Sportage is Kia's best-selling UK model and the future looks bright for its replacement, which scored 90 per cent for adult occupant protection. Pedestrian protection was less impressive however at 66 per cent, a result of the high bonnet characteristic of SUVs. The new Optima kept up with its popular stablemate with five stars too, although the saloon is not a common sight on UK roads.

The Jaguar XE has been a hit not only with the automotive press but also with Euro NCAP safety testers. Five stars will help the compact executive model in challenging the dominance of the big German three in its sector, with good scores all round. The slightly larger XF was also tested and performed well with 92 per cent for adult occupant protection and 84 per cent for child occupant protection.

The new Infiniti Q30 enters a challenging marketplace with five stars to its name in safety testing and a particularly good score for pedestrian protection at 91 per cent. The Mercedes-Benz GLC, the SUV variant of its C-Class range, predictably scored five stars too and achieved an excellent 95 per cent score for adult occupant protection, while the slightly larger Lexus RX, a hybrid SUV, made full use of a range of safety equipment in achieving its five stars. Automatic emergency braking, a speed limiter, driver knee airbag and lane keep assist are all standard kit on this premium SUV. The new BMW X1 not only looks good, it's also a very safe drive and earned itself five Euro NCAP stars in the latest round of testing.

Lagging behind

Models which didn't quite manage the essential five stars include the Nissan Navarra pick up, which was marked down to four stars due to a relative scarcity of active safety features. Nonetheless adult and child occupant protection came in at a reasonably respectable 79 per cent and 78 per cent respectively. At one time that was quite a good score but the Navarra is a victim of our increased expectations when it comes to automotive safety. Mini will be disappointed that the new Clubman could only achieve four out of five stars. Adult occupant protection was good at 90 per cent, but it was let down by the lack of a front passenger airbag cut off switch and 78 per cent for child occupant protection.

The BMW Z4 was a poor performer for the German brand, scoring a miserable three stars. However, this is a pretty old model with few modern active safety systems but a mid life facelift included it for eligibility in testing.

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