Safety organisation Euro NCAP has announced its latest crash testing results, which sees top marks for the new Skoda Enyaq iV and Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUVs, but with the latest Dacia Sandero underperforming.
Let’s begin with the new Dacia Sandero, which is just reaching showrooms in its second-generation guise – boasting more technology, space and refinement, but keeping its £7,995 starting price, making it Britain’s cheapest new car.
Though Dacia has introduced a new autonomous emergency braking system, Euro NCAP described the model – which was tested in more rugged Stepway guise – as having a ‘pared-down’ safety specification. Though most modern cars feature a camera-based system for their safety aids, the Sandero instead features a radar system instead. Though this can pick up and react to other vehicles, it can’t spot pedestrians and cyclists.
However, Euro NCAP said the Sandero’s crash protection is ‘respectable’, and that it would have received four (out out five) stars were it not for its ‘shortcomings elsewhere’. These faults meant it received just two stars.
Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP, said: “Safety has moved on and the biggest strides forward are now being made by using high-tech to prevent accidents from happening.
“Clearly, Dacia have found their market and they’re sticking to it, but a two-star rating shows little ambition, even for a low-cost product.Their decision not to offer a camera clearly is out of step with the market and disappointing as Dacia are aware that their cars will soon have to comply with the new General Safety Regulation.”
On a more positive note, two of the Volkswagen Group’s new electric SUVs scored top marks – the Skoda Enyaq and Volkswagen ID.4. Euro NCAP said they delivered ‘impressive performances and are separated by no more than a few points in the different areas of assessment’. They were particularly applauded for their robust structures and range of airbags, with particularly high scores in the adult and child occupant protection categories.
The Cupra Formentor – the Spanish firm’s first bespoke model since splitting from Seat – was also further tested in a new plug-in hybrid guise, with this electrified version keeping the same five-star rating as petrol versions tested by Euro NCAP earlier this year.