Independent crash test experts Euro NCAP reveal which models protect best in a crash. VW's top seller scores highestIf crash safety matters most in choosing your next car, Volkswagen’s latest Golf (pictured) could be the one to buy. Independent safety organisation Euro NCAP has revealed that the car scored the highest marks overall of the 33 cars it tested last year.
The car, which has seven airbags fitted as standard to even the cheapest models, achieved a near-perfect score for adult crash protection and encouragingly high marks for safeguarding child passengers and pedestrians. Hot on its heels came two new petrol/electric hybrid cars, Honda’s Insight and Toyota’s latest-generation Prius, which earned the second and third highest scores in the tests.
Hyundai’s good-value supermini, the i20, took fourth place. This is a star result for a model that costs as little as £7760 new and has proved one of the must-grab buys using the government’s new-cars-for-old scrappage scheme. Fifth place is shared by Toyota’s latest Avensis, the Volvo XC60 and the new Vauxhall Astra.
Each gained the maximum safety rating of five stars, as did most of 2009’s test line-up. The two lowest scorers were the Nissan Pixo/Suzuki Alto and the Toyota Urban Cruiser, which each scored three stars. Toyota has disputed the results for its car and it is expected that a re-test and revised result will publish this year.
Each test involves four staged collisions under lab conditions, using up to three of each model plus three front seats, four child seats and an array of spare parts. This year it becomes harder than ever for cars to achieve a five-star result and Euro NCAP will gannounce the outcome of the first tests conducted to this new standard in March.
For full results of the cars that Euro NCAP tested during 2009, click here
To read motors.co.uk's exclusive, independent road test of the 2009 Golf, click here