Last year was Euro NCAP’s busiest-ever year with nearly 70 models crashed and assessed. Many new models were able to meet the ever increasing stringency in criteria set by the independent organisation which has been conducting its evaluations since being established in 1997.

Among the 6 categories of vehicles, Volkswagen models scored the most number of stars (ratings) in 3 categories – the Polo in the Supermini class, the T Roc in the Small Off-road category, and the Arteon in the Executive class.

Volvo reinforced its decades-long reputation for safety with its latest XC60 being the best overall performer as well as topping the scores in the Large Off-road category. The Opel Crossland X, a relative of the Citroen C3 Aircross it shares the same Peugeot Group platform, was tops in the Small MPV category.

Volvo XC60

Subaru was the only Japanese brand with models among the best performers with its latest XV and Impreza. The XV scored as much as 94% in Adult Occupant Protection and was equipped with the Eyesight safety system which recently made its debut in models sold in Singapore.

Most of the nearly 70 models tested in 2017 were new to the market and most of these achieved the maximum 5-star rating which, set against Euro NCAP’s increasingly tough assessment regime, reflects the ever-improving safety of modern vehicles. Older, facelifted models fared less well, their ratings, generally poorer than those of newer cars, reflecting a lack of advanced restraint systems and driver-assistance technologies.

Pedestrian-detecting autobraking systems are available in more models nowadays.

Pedestrian-detecting autobrake systems, first tested by Euro NCAP in 2016, were already available on 82% of the vehicles tested in 2017 and standard equipment on 62% of them. Speed management systems were available with 92% of the new cars tested, and was standard equipment on 82%.

Yet these advancements in driver-assistance technology took nothing away from improvements in crash-protection: 96% offered as standard 2 or more seating positions in the car compatible with new i-Size child restraints and 94% of models now offer rear seat load-limiters and belt-tensioners as standard.

“To win best-in-class in three different categories is a great achievement and underlines Volkswagen’s commitment to providing the highest levels of safety to its customers. Subaru and Opel are also offering class-leading products while Volvo continues to underline its reputation for safety. More broadly, though, it is encouraging to see so many new cars performing so well in all areas of safety, and being equipped with greater and greater levels of life-saving technology,” noted Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary-General of Euro NCAP.

By default, the base rating (and optional rating if applicable) remains valid for a maximum period of 6 years following the release of the result. The rating scheme is expected to change so significantly during this period that referring to an older result would mislead consumers. Vehicles whose results were published on or after January 1, 2013 are subject to an annual review of their ratings every 12 months from the time the original rating was released for up to 6 years thereafter, to establish whether or not the original rating remains valid.

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[Chips Yap]

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