When it comes to choosing your next car, it’s very easy to just be drawn in by the way it looks and the technology on it.
But – depending on your needs – there are plenty of other things you might want to think about, not least safety. And though this is an area where cars have improved tremendously over the years, there’s still a lot of difference between the best and worst models when it comes to safety.
Here we look at 10 of the safest models that have been tested in recent years. It’s worth noting all these models received the top five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.
If you have any doubts that electric cars aren’t as safe as their petrol or diesel equivalents, you should be encouraged by the number of EVs that have already been awarded top ratings by Euro NCAP.
One of which is the Volkswagen ID.4 – currently the firm’s largest EV and one that’s ideal for families. With its impressively roomy interior and electric range of up to 322 miles, it’s a fine choice. Euro NCAP said ‘owners will be reassured with high marks in child occupant protection;’ and that it delivered an overall ‘impressive performance’.Enquire on a new Volkswagen ID.4
The Seat Leon was one of the first cars to face Euro NCAP’s stricter safety tests and certainly didn’t disappoint, with this family hatchback scoring impressively well, and actually performing better than sibling products from Audi and Volkswagen thanks to its ‘more compatible front end design’.
There’s a lot more to the Leon than just its safety, too, as it’s great value for money, good to drive and looks the part as well. It’s worth noting that this safety rating also applies to the Cupra Leon.Enquire on a new Seat Leon
BMW 4 Series
If you think choosing a sportier coupe or convertible might bring a compromise in safety, the BMW 4 Series proves that most certainly isn’t the case. Though unlikely to be bought as a family car, this BMW still deserves much praise for its safety credentials, not least a 97 per cent rating for adult occupant protection.
Based on the 3 Series, the 4 Series is superb to drive while also features a terrific interior kitted out with all the latest technology. Note that this impressive rating applies to both Coupe and Convertible bodystyles.Enquire on a new BMW 4 Series
Cupra is a brand that’s excelling at the moment, with a range of sporty yet usable models really appealing to buyers. The Formentor is actually its first standalone model that’s not shared with Seat, and is stunning to look at and also great to drive.
Yet Cupra didn’t sacrifice on safety on its new SUV, with the Formentor scoring impressively well in all categories, while it also comes as standard with a range of driver assistance technology that aims to prevent collisions happening in the first place.Enquire on a new Cupra Formentor
Think a small car brings a compromise when it comes to safety? Honda aims to prove that this doesn’t have to be the case, with its Jazz proving to be one of the safest models tested in recent years. Now hybrid-only, even entry-level models feature adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and traffic sign recognition.
With low running costs, a comfortable and relaxing driving experience and class-leading levels of interior space, the Jazz is a great option in the small car class.Enquire on a new Honda Jazz
Skoda’s range of cars are all well-suited to families, and even as the firm begins to launch electric models, they remain as versatile and practical as ever – as the new Enyaq iV shows. It uses the same MEB platform as the Volkswagen ID.4, and delivers a similarly exceptional performance on the safety front thanks to their broad range of skills.
The hugely spacious interior of the Enyaq, as well as it’s surprisingly affordable asking price, makes it a terrific choice.Enquire on a new Skoda Enyaq iV
In a similar vein to the Jazz, Toyota’s Yaris is a model that could be ideal if you want to downsize your car but without compromising on safety. In fact, when this latest Yaris was tested in 2020 it set the new benchmark for small cars, while Euro NCAP said it ‘showcased the rapid advancements in crash avoidance technology’.
With an especially generous list of standard safety kit that helps to set it apart from its rivals, the Yaris is also better to drive than ever, looks the part and gets a seriously efficient hybrid powertrain as well.Enquire on a new Toyota Yaris
MG might not be the first firm you think of when it comes to safety, but its models generally excel in this area – not least the HS SUV, which is perhaps the most family-friendly model in its line-up.
Offered with a range of driver assistance features as standard – helping it to receive a great rating from Euro NCAP – the HS is also practical, well-equipped and represents great value for money.Enquire on a new MG HS
Compact crossovers don’t come much better than the Ford Puma, and if you want something practical, fun to drive yet affordable, it really is a terrific choice. Powerful, yet efficient, mild-hybrid petrol engines also suit the Puma perfectly.
It’s also a very safe option, and received the top safety rating by Euro NCAP back when it was tested in 2019. With great scores in all categories, it’s an ideal choice for those with an eye on safety. Just be aware that versions in a ‘Design’ trim don’t feature the safety equipment that’s found on other models.Enquire on a new Ford Puma
Subaru is another brand that really prioritises safety on its cars, with its range of models being some of the safest on the road. Though its cars don’t sell in huge numbers – and aren’t especially good in other areas – in this category, they’re exceptional.
And it’s the rugged Outback estate that really moves the game forward, not least in Euro NCAP’s ‘Safety Assist’ category, where the model scored a remarkable 95 per cent rating. It even features a camera that can track the driver’s eyes to check they’re focusing and not impaired, which is a rarity among new cars on sale today.Enquire on a new Subaru Outback