Europe’s best selling car, the Volkswagen Golf is officially its safest car too – according to the latest round-up of results from EuroNCAP, the car crash testing organisation of which AA Ireland is a supporter and founding member.
EuroNCAP tested a total of 33 new car models in 2009 with each being awarded an overall safety rating based on combined performance in four areas; adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian protection, and ‘safety assist’ which currently covers electronic stability control, ‘driver-set’ speed limitation devices, and intelligent seat belt reminders.
The Golf Achieved the highest overall score in 2009, closely followed by two fuel efficient hybrid cars, the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius. In fourth place was Hyundai’s supermini the i20.
Conor Faughnan, Director of Policy AA Ireland, says, “It is good to see that the safest cars are ‘normal’ family cars and state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly cars rather than larger executive models which many might traditionally associate with higher safety standards.
“More than 360 new car models have been tested in the 12 years or so since the EuroNCAP programme began. The testing programme has been an outstanding success and a key driver of improving car safety standards. It has given the consumer a proper way to take safety into account – alongside running costs, environmental impact and other factors – when buying a car.”
Each rating is the result of testing 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.