12 new cars were tested – and 8 received the full 5-star rating.
For this very reason, EuroNCAP is overhauling its test procedure. In February 2009, it’s toughening things up, with a harder test.
It will include whiplash testing – and cars that don’t offer standard ESP on the majority of models will not be able to score a top 5-star result.
This could have a bearing on prices of smaller cars, which currently offer ESP as an optional extra. It usually costs around £400.
EuroNCAP 5-star cars
Alfa Romeo Mito
Volkswagen Golf VI
EuroNCAP 4-star cars
EuroNCAP 2-star cars
EuroNCAP does point out, though, that these scores are for occupant protection. Not all of these cars performed as well in child occupant or pedestrian protection.
Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP, said: ‘It is clear that Euro NCAP’s new rating scheme in 2009 will offer a more discriminating view of the overall safety performance of today’s best selling vehicles, and give customers the opportunity to prioritise and maximise the safety options on their vehicles.’