Safest cars

Volvo V40 - front cornering
2 Sep, 2015 12:15pm

Using Euro NCAP crash test data, we've put together a list of the safest cars available now

There's no doubt that cars have been getting steadily safer over the years. The last ten years have seen huge amounts of innovation - from advancements in essential equipment like seat belts and airbags to cars that can actually take control in an emergency and steer you away from an accident.

Experts at Euro NCAP test all important new cars for safety and award each model with a star rating out of five after a series of stringent tests. The tests are constantly revised, and the latest 2015 variants have moved the goalposts to make it even harder for cars to achieve the full 5-star rating.

There's plenty of reward to getting this top score though, as a 5-star Euro NCAP rating is considered an industry standard, and a poor safety score could hinder sales. We've dug a bit deeper into Euro NCAP's test ratings to find out which cars scored highest overall.

Euro NCAP's crash tests involve collisions at various speeds, into different obstacles. There are front and side-on collisions and the cars are fitted with sophisticated dummies that mimic passengers. These dummies have sensors all over them so that the experts can measure the impact a crash would have on real people. A variety of dummies are used to mimic adults, children and babies.

When testing pedestrian safety another dummy is hit by the car and measurements are taken to see how the car fares in the event of a pedestrian collision.

The safety assist category is one that's become ever more important in recent years as technology like autonomous braking becomes commonplace. This category includes all the technology that works to prevent a crash from occurring, such as seatbelt reminders, ESC, and speed limiting.

Safest cars 2015

Euro NCAP tests vehicles in a number of categories, ranging from city cars to large MPVs, and even vans. The safest car in the UK is the Volvo V40 - even 3 years after its release it remains the only car to average over 90% across the categories tested.

1. Safest small family car: Volvo V40
2. Safest small SUV: Vauxhall Mokka
3. Safest executive car: BMW 5 Series
4. Safest large family car: BMW 3 Series
5. Safest small MPVs: VW Touran/Ford S-Max (tied)
6. Safest large MPV: Ford Galaxy
7. Safest large SUV: Volvo XC90
8. Safest Supermini: Renault Clio
9. Safest van: Ford Transit Custom 

The safest car in the City Cars category was the Toyota iQ, but the Volkswagen up!, SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo were marginally behind, and actually scored higher for child safety.

For a list of the safest cars in order, visit our sister site