This latest round of testing saw NCAP put a range of vehicles with different propulsions through their paces, including hybrid, electric and even a hydrogen model in the form of the Toyota Mirai. Sticking with this Japanese-built model, the safety body said it ‘paid extra attention;’ to its crash and post-crash performance, and commented that being powered by hydrogen had ‘no effects on its inherent safety’.
Also tested was Audi’s new Q4 e-tron – an electric SUV that uses the Volkswagen Group’s dedicated MEB platform for EVs. Like sibling models from Volkswagen itself and Skoda, the Q4 received the top honours.
The only conventionally-powered model to be tested was Subaru’s new Outback – essentially a rugged 4×4 estate car – which received particularly high praise for its safety assists, specifically a feature that can track the driver’s eyes to see if they’re paying attention to the road.
A few lesser-known models that are yet to be introduced to the UK have also come under the knife. The first is the Lynk & Co 01, a model linked to the Volvo XC40 that received an especially high 96 per cent for adult occupant protection.
The Chinese-built NIO ES8 is another model you’ve likely never encountered, but is an electric seven-seat SUV already available in Norway, and it too gets the top five-star safety rating.
Euro NCAP’s secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen, said: “This round of tests highlights the direction in which car technology is moving. All but one of the cars are electrified in some way or another. The Mirai has hydrogen fuel cell technology.
“These are moves driven by a need for greater protection of the environment. But the cars also have some of the very latest active safety technology and this, too, is part of a trend that has been going on for some time and will continue to do so, to save lives on Europe’s roads. The manufacturers of these cars don’t ask you to choose between saving the planet or saving your family, and nor should you be asked to!”