THE latest round of new cars has been tested by Euro NCAP, with six cars achieving four stars and eight cars with five stars.
Two Chinese newcomers – the Geely Emgrand EC7 and MG6 – were among the six to receive four stars along with the Fiat Panda, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jaguar XF and the EV Renault Fluence ZE.
The Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Rio, Mercedes-Benz B-Class and C-Class Coupe, the Ranger Rover Evoque, Subaru XV, VW Beetle and VW up! were all awarded the top safety rating of five stars, by Euro NCAP. The VW Up’s five star rating is applied also to its VW-group cousins, the Seat Mii and the Skoda Citigo.
The MG6 and Geely Emgrand EC7 achieving four star ratings was a ‘creditable’ result, says Euro NCAP’s secretary general Michiel van Ratingen: ‘These results mark a milestone for the Chinese automotive industry. It is a clear sign that Chinese car makers are building on recent experiences and rapidly investing in better vehicle safety. Even with the upcoming increased demands, five stars are expected to be within reach soon.’
The Renault Fluence ZE’s score of four stars was ‘surprising’ and puts the French car behind Nissan’s Leaf and the Vauxhall Ampera, while the Fiat Panda lost a star as it is not fitted with ESC as standard despite the technology becoming mandatory in 2012.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee ‘showed disappointing results’ in child occupant protection. In the frontal impact, the seat rail holding the seat belt anchorage came close to breaking in two, resulting in contact, through the fabric of the airbag, of the driver’s head with the steering wheel rim.
Euro NCAP urges Jeep to complete its investigation into the cause and implement an improved seat rail design in future production cars soon.
Finally, top scorers VW Beetle and Subaru XV achieved impressive results in child occupant protection, both reaching 90 per cent, which is the maximum score Euro NCAP has yet given for this assessment.
Advanced safety systems were also tested by Euro NCAP. Ford was rewarded for its Driver Alert and Forward Alert systems on the Focus, Mercedes-Benz for Attention Assist and Collision Prevention Assist, Opel for Adaptive Forward Lighting and Volkswagen for City Emergency Brake.