New data reveals the cars released in 2019 that you can rely on to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
There are all sorts of considerations that go into selecting a new motor, from the list price and fuel economy to the insurance costs and even the colour.
But one important aspect that may be overlooked by some drivers is just how safe the car is.
That’s where Euro NCAP comes in ‒ an independent body that runs a series of safety tests on new cars released each quarter, and which then awards them an overall safety rating.
It’s now published its ‘best in class’ round-up of the safest cars it tested in 2019, so if you’re in the market for a new car, these should certainly be under consideration.
It’s worth noting that of the 55 cars assessed over the year, 41 achieved full marks, which Euro NCAP said made it one of the most impressive years on record.
How the cars are tested
Firstly, it’s worth a quick refresh on how Euro NCAP tests these motors.
Each car is assessed on four categories.
These are adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, vulnerable road user protection (essentially how it looks out for pedestrians) and safety assist (what sort of tech the car uses to help the driver be more safe).
These four categories are then brought together to establish an overall star rating out of five.
So, while each of the cars we are about to highlight scored the full five stars, they may have had some significantly different scores in these four areas.
You can read more about this in our piece on Euro NCAP tests and ratings.
Small family car
The Mercedes-Benz CLA took the top spot in the small family car category.
The car is described by Euro NCAP as the “sporty alternative” to last year’s winner, the A-Class Sedan.
The CLA scored more than 90% in three of the four safety areas tested, and received the best overall score of the entire year.
Euro NCAP also pointed out that Mercedes-Benz launched a further five vehicles in the year, which received an overall five-star rating – a remarkable achievement.
The runner up was the Mazda 3.
Large family car
For bigger families, there are two winners to note ‒ one for hybrid/electric, and one for less environmentally friendly fuel use.
Both the Tesla Model 3 and the BMW 3 Series ‒ the two winners in the respective divisions ‒ finished with an identical overall score.
However, the testers noted the BMW scored more strongly on pedestrian protection, while the Tesla was the superior performer in the safety assist category.
The Skoda Octavia was named the runner up.
Hybrid and electric
The Tesla Model 3 was also awarded the best in class rosette out of all the hybrid and electric motors tested by Euro NCAP over 2019.
It scored above 90% in both the adult occupant and safety assist tests, with pedestrian protection its weakest area at 74%.
Tesla also took the second spot with the Tesla Model X.
The Tesla Model X picked up a trophy in its own right too in the large off-road category.
It scored an extraordinary 98% in the adult occupant category, and 94% in the safety assist tests.
The Seat Tarraco was awarded the runners up spot among other large off-road vehicles, scoring 97% on adult occupant tests but less than 85% in the other three test areas.
Small off-road/MPV class
Euro NCAP said this was a particularly tight category, with Subaru’s new Forester edging out the competition thanks to an excellent all round performance.
Not only did it notch a score of 97% in the adult occupant tests, it also scored 91% for child safety and 80% for pedestrian protection.
There were two runners up here.
The Mazda CX-30 won praise for its incredible 99% score in the adult occupant tests, while Volkswagen’s T-Cross was also flagged, having scored 96% in adult occupant tests and over 80% in the other three test areas.
In the final category, Euro NCAP picked two winners ‒ the Audi A1 and the Renault Clio.
The firm noted the two models have been among the continent’s most popular and desirable hatchbacks for years, and scored similarly in the testing.
The Clio came out slightly ahead on both the adult and child occupant tests, but the A1 scored more highly on vulnerable road user and safety assist tests.
The Ford Puma took the runners up spot.
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