UK’s independent safety research body, Thatcham Research, recently ranked the ten safest new cars for 2019, which will compete for the What Car? Safety Award to be presented later this month.
The award has bee in existence for many years and sponsored the award for several years, and sponsored by Thatcham. The judging panel announced the ten finalists based on a number of criteria.
Beyond the obvious five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, the judges also considered:
- Euro NCAP crash test scores for both adult and child protection
- Performance in stringent new autonomous emergency braking (AEB) tests aimed at protecting cyclists and pedestrians
- Availability of automated driver assistance systems that help prevent collisions
- sales volumes, to determine the real difference a car is likely to make to real-world road safety
Matthew Avery is director of research at Thatcham Research and a judge for the What Car? Safety Award. He said: “It’s clear that occupants of the latest cars are at a lower risk than ever. But not resting on our laurels, we raised the bar in safety testing for 2018.
“This means the ten cars in this list are some of the safest ever made, anywhere in the world.”
Contenders for the Thatcham awards
Unfortunately, the top ten finalists are listed in alphabetical order from A to Z. (sorry, Volvo).
“Audi has two models in the list, which is testament to the brand’s excellent track record in producing five-star Euro NCAP cars. The Audi A6 has many safety features, including a pop-up bonnet, to protect pedestrians and cyclists in the event of a collision.”
Audi Q3: “The second highest overall Euro NCAP score (87%) in 2018, very good performance in crash testing and the highest score overall (85%) for crash avoidance technology. One of the year’s stand-out performers.”
Ford Focus: “The Ford Focus has always been a top seller, so the latest version with its standard-fit crash avoidance technology is making UK roads safer in volume. In testing, it’s AEB system performed just as well as some of the more expensive buys in the longlist too. It is also fitted with a class-leading Driver Assistance System, to support steering and braking.”
“One of two Electric Vehicles among our ten safest cars of the year, successfully allaying concerns around the safety performance of Electric Vehicles. Very high Adult Occupant Protection (94%) and crash avoidance technology (81%) scores too.”
Lexus ES: “A Best in Class Euro NCAP winner in the large family car segment, the Lexus ES is another top safety performer from a carmaker with a consistent approach to safety.”
Mercedes-Benz A-Class: “Top level safety, with the second-lowest price tag in the list. The only car in the top ten to reach 90% in terms of its overall Euro NCAP score. Mercedes has shown that volume sales and market leading safety technology need not be mutually exclusive. It too has a high performing driver assistance system to take some of the burden on long drives, adding to its safety credentials while marking an early step towards automation.”
“The Nissan LEAF was the first car to go through Euro NCAP’s updated testing regime and has a cyclist detection and avoidance system to protect vulnerable road users. Another Electric Vehicle in the top ten, offering further reassurance to anyone with concerns about electric battery compromise in crashes.”
“The second highest Adult Occupant Protection score (96%) of the year, and strong performance across all other judging categories. A very good Speed Assistance System too, along with optimal protection for child passengers in the rear.”
“Every car Volvo has produced has achieved the maximum Euro NCAP star rating, and every car has featured at the top end of the Safety Award longlist since it began in 2015. The Volvo V60 / S60 is of course no different, with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 96%.”
“The XC40, Volvo’s offering in the burgeoning small SUV market, offers the highest Adult Occupant Protection score of any car tested last year. It’s ‘Pilot Assist’ system, combining Adaptive Cruise Control and Steering Support, is also very good.”