Fifteen out of sixteen new cars score five-star safety ratings as manufacturers rush to get tested before more stringent criteria arrive. Five-star safety models now include Hyundai Ioniq 6, Toyota bZ4X, Honda Civic, Range Rovers, Nissan X-Trail and more.
Fifteen cars achieved a perfect five-star score in the latest round of Euro NCAP safety testing, including the new Range Rover, new Honda Civic and Tesla Model S. ANCAP in Australia – which uses EuroNCAP results to determine local scoring depending on spec changes – has so far announced that four of those five-star ratings apply here.
Of the models crash tested in Europe, Australian five-star ANCAP scores have been granted to the new Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Toyota Corolla Cross and Nissan X-Trail.
Land Rover’s new Range Rover hit 84% for adult occupants, 87% for child occupants and 82% for its safety systems, while its vulnerable road user score measured in at 72%.
The new Range Rover Sport, meanwhile, achieved a similar five-star result, but with a slightly lower 68% score for vulnerable road users.
Positive scores continued to roll in with the Nissan Ariya, Renault Austral, Toyota Corolla Cross, Nissan X-Trail, and Isuzu D-Max (already 2020 ANCAP five-star rated), these also bringing home five-star ratings.
Expectations for other new models coming to Australia are good.
As part of its own five–star score, the new Hyundai Ioniq 6 electric sedan matched the previous adult occupant safety record achieved by the Tesla Model Y, scoring 97%.
It also matched the Model Y’s 87% score for child occupants, but it wasn’t as impressive for vulnerable road users, scoring 66%. It earned a respectable 90% for its safety systems.
The Toyota bZ4X and almost identical Subaru Soltera both earned 88% for adult occupant protection, 87% for child occupants, 79% for vulnerable road users and an impressive 91% for safety kit.
The Tesla Model S scored well across the board, achieving 94% for adult occupants, 91% for child occupants and 85% for vulnerable road user protection. It also scored a near-perfect 98% for its safety assist systems.
The Civic, meanwhile, achieved well over 80% in each of the four test categories.
It was also a positive month for Chinese cars, with the Nio ET7, Smart #1 and Wey Coffee 02 all achieving five out of five.
Smart’s radically designed new electric crossover is one of the safest models for adult protection, scoring 96%.
The DS 9 (which won’t be offered in Australia) was the only car out of the 16 tested in this round to not achieve a perfect score, but it still earned a respectable four stars out of five.
Euro NCAP said the sedan was penalised as it was an “aggressive impact partner towards other vehicles” at its front end.
“Manufacturers are keen to achieve good scores in this year’s tests, as next year protocols become more stringent and provide increased challenges for vehicle development,” said Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen.
“In 2023, in line with its Vision 2030, Euro NCAP will be focusing on a range of new aspects. For example, we’re putting in place autonomous emergency braking protocols for motorcycles as well as new scenarios in passive safety for pedestrians and cyclists, extending the area where these two vulnerable users might interact with a vehicle.”
Along with toughening its regulations in 2023, the organisation will pressure car makers to consider other road users.
“Euro NCAP is keen to work closely with manufacturers to ensure we provide a framework for makers to improve the safety performance of their cars,” continued van Ratingen.
“However, it’s important that these same manufacturers don’t use the six-year validity of the rating simply as a strategic commercial opportunity to satisfy consumers. Manufacturers must show us that they’re committed to making a real difference to safety.”