[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n 2016, Euro NCAP tested 18 new passenger cars and four heavy quadricycles. Out of the lots, the body rated only three as best in class, including Toyota Prius as best in the ‘Large Family Car’ category; Hyundai Ioniq in the ‘Small Family Car’ category; and the VW Tiguan as the best ‘Small Off-Roader’.
This year, EuroNCAP introduced some significant changes to its ratings scheme. The inclusion of tests for pedestrian-detecting autobrake systems drove a huge increase in fitment of this life-saving technology, mostly as standard equipment but also as an option. The Toyota Prius, winner in the Large Family Car category, was the first car to undergo tests of its AEB Pedestrian technology. According to EuroNCAP, Toyota’s ts standard-fitted safety pack and‘its Safety Sense’, performed well and managed to recognize and avoid or mitigate potential crashes with pedestrians.
The excellent performance of the SEAT Ateca in these tests was also noted.
While ‘Best in Class’ is based only on cars with standard safety equipment, several car manufacturers took advantage of Euro NCAP’s new ‘dual rating’ system in 2016. In addition to a star rating indicating the safety of a car with only standard safety equipment, a second rating demonstrates the benefits of optional safety equipment.
In general, the optional ‘safety pack’ includes AEB, including pedestrian-detecting auto-brake systems. And the scheme was used for Superminis, Small Family Cars and one Pickup – competitive segments that might well otherwise have missed out on advanced driver assistance technologies.
Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen said, “Some technologies are expensive and we recognized that it may not be possible for manufacturers to include them as standard equipment across the range and, at the same time, keep basic variants affordable for the target market.
“The dual rating scheme lets them phase in sales more gradually, keeping cars affordable, but, at the same time, giving consumers the chance to take advantage of these important safety technologies. We’re pleased to see such a broad uptake of pedestrian-detecting AEB systems in 2016, as standard or as an option.”
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class was said to have performed well but was the only car tested in the ‘Executive Car’ category so cannot be awarded ‘Best in Class’. In a year that underlined Euro NCAP’s influence, the E-Class was also noted for its exceptional performance in child occupant protection.
With an automatic passenger airbag disabling system and excellent dynamic test results, it is clear that Daimler has invested greatly in an area of assessment recently made more demanding by Euro NCAP.