The Nissan Leaf has scooped a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, as new tests have been introduced by the body to simulate more ‘real-world’ crashes.

The all-electric Leaf scored highest on adult occupation protection, receiving a 93 per cent score. An 86 per cent for child occupant protection also makes it one of the safest hatches currently on sale.

It was the first car to be tested by the independent safety body in 2018, and therefore was the first vehicle to be subjected to Euro NCAP’s latest changes that have been introduced to reflect more ‘real-world’ crashes.

New tests include an offset test of safety braking assists, where the car overlaps on impact. The test now monitors further pedestrian-based scenarios, too, including how well the car can see people in the dark, as well as situations involving cyclists both crossing the road and riding along the road, and ensuring that automatic braking systems can detect cyclists.

The Nissan Leaf has been the UK, and Europe’s best-selling electric car for several years now, with a second-generation model hitting showrooms at the start of 2018. The new model boasts a range of safety assists, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and also an optional park assist, to name but a few.

Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, said: “Safety campaigners have raised concerns about noise, or rather the lack of it, in fully electrified vehicles – especially in urban driving environments.

“This is why standard- fit AEB systems that can detect vulnerable road users should be fundamental to any electric vehicle’s suite of safety technologies – as the Nissan Leaf demonstrates.”

Euro NCAP first introduced autonomous emergency braking (AEB) to the test in 2014, with Avery adding: “Without such AEB systems in place, carmakers will struggle to achieve a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating.”