For the first time, Euro NCAP can now release its top five safest cars of 2009, based on their maximum five star award and their overall score. Top of this list is the Volkswagen Golf VI that was first tested in 2008 under the former rating scheme and was re-released in 2009.
The Honda Insight Hybrid and Toyota Prius, two fuel-efficient vehicles tested in 2009, were second and third respectively in Euro NCAP’s list of safest, crash-tested cars. In fourth place is the Hyundai i20. There are three joint winners for fifth place – the Toyota Avensis, Volvo XC60 and the Opel/Vauxhall Astra. Euro NCAP’s poorest results of the year were achieved by the Suzuki Alto and the Toyota Urban Cruiser, which both received three stars.
1. VW Golf VI
2. Honda Insight
3. Toyota Prius
4. Hyundai i20
5. Toyota Avensis
5. Volvo XC60
5. Opel//Vauxhall Astra
In 2009, Euro NCAP crash tested thirty three car models, using up to a total of three cars, three front seats, four child seats and an array of spare parts per model. To achieve the overall rating, the car model is usually put through four crash tests, a component test and is assessed by an inspector who considers tests results and the safety equipment and features of the car. In 2009, upon the request of the manufacturer Euro NCAP also considered results from vehicles crash-tested in 2007/2008 and carried out the necessary tests and assessment to upgrade them to a result applicable under the new rating scheme.
Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP says “This is the first time we can calculate results that demonstrate an overall safety performance. Even though these cars excel in different areas of safety, their presence in the top-five list indicates that they are among the top safety achievers of the year”.
In 2010, the threshold to achieve Euro NCAP’s maximum five stars rises from 75% to 80% in Adult Occupant Protection and from 70% to 75% in Child Occupant Protection. The threshold for Pedestrian Protection rises to 40%. The first results for vehicles tested under this stricter assessment will be released on 3rd March 2010.