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Euro NCAP Awards August 2012

(Wednesday 29 August 2012)

Volvo V40 Euro NCAP Crash Test.

Euro NCAP has published the results of its six latest crash tests, all but one of which have led to five-star ratings.

The best scores were achieved by the Volvo V40, which set new standards for the small family car category by achieving 98% for adult occupant protection and 100% for safety assist technology. Its pedestrian airbag led to a pedestrian protection score of 88%, the highest ever given by Euro NCAP. Only a 75% rating for child occupant protection spoiled the party, this being the second lowest awarded in this round of tests.

Almost equally impressive was the new Audi A3, a stated rival to the V40, which did particularly well for adult occupant protection with a score of 95%. The Ford B-MAX managed 92%, and Euro NCAP noted that its "safety was uncompromised" by the lack of a permanent centre pillar on each side of the car which makes getting in and out so much easier. (A "virtual" pillar is created when the front and rear doors are shut.)

The Kia cee'd earned an unspectacular but consistent set of marks, certainly enough to warrant the five-star overall rating. The Renault Clio was a slightly odd case. It had the lowest pedestrian protection rating of the vehicles mentioned so far, at 88%, and its whiplash protection was ranked Marginal, two levels down from the Good achieved by everything else in this round of testing. But its child protection rating of 89% was the best of the bunch, and its safety assist score of 99% handsomely beat that of everything but the Volvo.

The other vehicle tested was the Isuzu D-MAX pickup, whose 51% pedestrian protection score disqualified it from being given five stars. However, Euro NCAP did note that the D-MAX fared vastly better than its predecessor, the Rodeo, and noted that Isuzu "has learnt from the experience and made safety a priority for its newest model".

The D-MAX's scores were roughly comparable to those of the Volkswagen Amarok (except in safety assist, where the D-MAX is much better), but both lag well behind the Ford Ranger, which is still the only pickup to have been awarded five stars.

For more information, visit www.euroncap.com.

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