For European Car Safety Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP), 2017 was its busiest year ever with nearly seventy models assessed. Which of the cars grilled emerged as class leaders in Executive, Small off-road, large off-road, small MPV, Small family car classes? ROTIMI ASHER finds out…
Of the vehicles grilled for safety in the just concluded year, Volkswagen brand happened to lead most categories. That is talking about the vehicles selected or presented to safety assessment body known as European New Car Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP) for safety test.
The brand recorded lead in three categories. VW Polo led in the supermini class, T Roc in the small off-road category and the prestigious Arteon in the executive class.
Volvo also recorded a giant lead in giant class, talking about Large Off-Road class. According to EuroNCAP’s end-of-the-year (2017) report, Volvo reinforced its reputation for safety with the year’s best overall performer, the large off-road XC60.
Most of the models tested in 2017 were new to the market and most of these achieved the maximum five-star rating which, set against Euro NCAP’s increasingly tough assessment regime, reflects the ever-improving safety of modern vehicles. Older, facelifted models fared less well, their ratings, generally poorer than those of newer cars, reflecting a lack of advanced restraint systems and driver-assistance technologies.
Reflecting on the year’s safety report, Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, gave special commendation to Volkswagen for what he described as the automaker’s great achievement.
“Congratulations to Volkswagen!” he said, adding, “To win best-in-class in three different categories is a great achievement and underlines the company’s commitment to providing the highest levels of safety to its customers. Subaru and Opel are also offering class-leading products while Volvo continues to underline its reputation for safety. More broadly, though, it is encouraging to see so many new cars performing so well in all areas of safety, and being equipped with greater and greater levels of life-saving technology.”
Pedestrian-detecting autobrake systems, first tested by Euro NCAP in 2016, was already available on 82 percent of the cars tested in 2017 and standard equipment on 62 percent of them. Speed assistance was offered on 92 percent of the new cars tested, and was standard equipment on 82 percent.
Yet these advancements in driver-assistance technology took nothing away from improvements in crash-protection: 96 percent offered standard two or more seating positions in the car compatible with new i-Size child restraints and 94 percent of new cars now offer rear seat load limiters and belt tensioners as standard.
WINNERS ROLL CALL
Executive VW Arteon
Large Off-Road Volvo XC60
Small Off-Road VW T-Roc
Supermini VW Polo
Small MPV Opel Crossland X
Small Family Car Subaru XV and Subaru Impreza
How EuroNCAP Arrives at Safety Ratings
5 stars safety: Overall good performance in crash protection. Well equipped with robust crash avoidance technology
4 stars safety: Overall good performance in crash protection; additional crash avoidance technology may be present
3 stars safety: Average to good occupant protection but lacking crash avoidance technology
2 stars safety: Nominal crash protection but lacking crash avoidance technology
1 star safety: Marginal crash protection