RAC Cars News


Used car safety tests

By raccars Published


Is safety one of your top priorities when choosing a used car?

Thatcham Research has been conducting a survey to find the safest affordable used cars. Among the parameters set for the research are that all cars must have scored five stars in Euro NCAP crash testing; they must be easy to find on the used car market for no more than £15,000; and they must emit no more than 120g/km in CO2.

The safest used car top ten

1. Volvo V40 (2012 and with safety pack)

The Volvo V40 from 2012 was the highest scoring car ever to take part in Euro NCAP crash safety tests and even achieved the maximum 100 per cent in the safety assist features category. It was an early proponent of autonomous emergency braking (called City Safety by Volvo), while the optional extra safety pack includes adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition, a driver fatigue monitor and lane keeping assist. Volvo really does want to keep you safe! It's also a practical and rather stylish hatchback that's very reasonably priced.

2. Volkswagen Golf (2012)

The Mk7 Golf comes with autonomous emergency braking as part of its standard kit, and Thatcham claims that the technology has reduced personal injury claims on these cars by an astonishing 45 per cent. AEB brakes the car automatically if it predicts an impact and works up to 50 mph.

3. Nissan Qashqai (2014)

Nissan stepped up the safety features with the second generation Qashqai, including lane departure warning and AEB. However these are optional extras rather than standard kit, which would have earned the Qashqai additional points.

4. Peugeot 308 (2013)

The 308 marked a noticeable improvement in finish from Peugeot and was accompanied by an impressive score from Euro NCAP, particularly in side impact protection testing. It also includes a driver-operated speed limiter as standard.

5. Vauxhall Astra (2015)

The recently released seventh generation Vauxhall Astra is now becoming available on the used market as a nearly new car. It did well across the board in Euro NCAP tests but notably scored 83 per cent in the pedestrian safety category and scored above 80 per cent for child and adult occupant safety.

6. Mazda 3 (2013)

The previous Mazda 3 scored the full five stars in Euro NCAP tests but the criteria were stricter by the time the 2013 model was released. Nonetheless it scored 93 per cent in the adult occupant protection category, 81 per cent in child occupant protection and 81 per cent in the safety assistance features category - equal with the Mercedes A-Class in seventh place.

7. Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2012)

The current model A-Class was a star performer when it was tested back in 2012, as was the previous generation A-Class. However, bear in mind that when it was scored, back in 2005, the testing criteria were not nearly as strict and comprehensive as modern tests.

8. Honda Civic (2012)

Euro NCAP examiners were particularly impressed by the clear labelling on the Civic's front airbag deactivation feature. They also gave it 83 per cent in child occupant safety, 94 per cent for adult occupant protection and 86 per cent for safety assistance features.

9. Mazda CX-5 (2012)

The CX-5's standard equipment list includes a number of active safety systems including a seatbelt reminder for all five passengers and electronic stability control, which saw it receive an 86 per cent score in this category by Euro NCAP. It also matched the Civic's 94 per cent score for adult occupant protection.

10. Fiat 500L (2014)

The MPV version of the diminutive 500 city car, like all those on this list, scored the full five stars when tested by Euro NCAP a couple of years ago, including a 94 per cent adult occupant protection score.

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