Safest cars

25 Mar, 2014 11:15am

We round up the safest cars you can buy in each class of car - as tested by Euro NCAP

The safest cars these days are very different to those even a few years ago - in fact, even the lowest-rated cars that are available today are many times safer than most vehicles from 20 years ago.

The huge step up in car safety is a relief to today's car buyers - but it can be hard to spot the safest cars out there. With a five-star score from Euro NCAP considered an industry standard, it can start to get confusing as to which models will perform the best in an accident.

However if you dig further into the Euro NCAP scores, you'll find that four aspects of the car are scored: Adult protection, Child protection, Pedestrian safety, and Safety assist systems. We've been through every model tested since 2012 (when a new type of test was introduced) to bring you the cars that scored the highest overall.

In order to test how safe the car is for adults and children, Euro NCAP will put the car through a number of frontal and side-on collisions at various speeds, and see what effect the crashes have on dummies seated in the car.

To record how well the car protects pedestrians, the test involves driving the car at a dummy and seeing how well the car’s structure cushions the impact.

To work out a score in the Safety assist category, the experts look at technology that works to prevent a crash from occurring, rather than protecting those involved during the crash. This includes systems like Electronic Stability Control (ESC) – which prevents a car skidding out of control – and seatbelt reminders, which ensure all occupants are strapped in.

Safest cars 2014

Euro NCAP tests vehicles in a number of categories, including SUVs, city cars, small family cars, small MPVs, Large MPVs, large family cars and even vans. The safest car in the UK, regardless of class, is the Volvo V40 - the only car to average over 90 per cent overall.

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 MPV: Citroen C4 Picasso
6. Safest Large SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe
7. Safest Supermini: Renault Clio
8. Safest van: Ford Transit Custom 

The only two cars tested in the Large MPVs were the Volkswagen Sharan and SEAT Alhambra, which recieved the same rating for safety. Similarly, 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 Carbuyer.co.uk.

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How about a list of the least safe cars in each class so we know which ones to avoid? There's not much difference between the safest car in each class and those just below it but sometimes there are those that standout for being particularly poor and this should be highlighted.

Where's the list?

Top left in the grey box. This is just the introduction article

seem to recall a test years ago of a large Merc S class I think versus a Safe small car crash into each other at 35mph - the comparison was made that it looked as though the Merc had a 20+mph crash and the small car 40mph crash - so get a BIG car is the answer?

AEX 1334
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