The Euro NCAP has recently released news about changing its crash test methods so radically that old results will not compare anymore. For that reason, we’ll review the 5 best results in Euro NCAP crash test history (1997-2019).
In case you haven’t read our article on the Top 5 worst results in Euro NCAP crash tests, here’s a recap of the Euro NCAP’s coloring methods: a car is considered completely safe when all dummy body parts are marked green, meaning that the bodily impact during an accident is not significant. Then, if green means almost complete absence of consequences, yellow means minor bruises, orange means moderate injuries, brown means serious injuries threatening fatal, and red indicates fatal injuries. With that recap in mind, let’s have a look at the 5 best tested cars.
1. Volvo S40 (1st gen), 1997.
Surprisingly, already in the first year of crash tests there were cars that showed themselves worthy. Although no car earned a 5-star rating for adult occupant protection in 1997, the 1st generation Volvo S40, which was built with it at the factory in the Netherlands, was the only test subject with a 4-star result. Hence, we raised it to the top of the rankings without hesitation.
The reliable Scandinavian
The car performed best in a side impact: the head was marked green, and the chest and abdomen yellow. Unlike most of the subjects in 1997, the S40 driver would not just survive a side collision, but stay healthy as well. Upon frontal impact, the passenger was better off than the driver: the legs, neck and head were green, with only the chest marked orange, while the driver also had orange legs and feet. Even after almost 25 years such a result pulls a solid 4, but in 1997 it was just phenomenal. By the way, it was Euro NCAP crash tests that not just confirmed, but also consolidated the safe reputation of the Swedish brand.
It’s difficult to recognize the 1st generation Volvo S40 in this photo, but despite the apparent destruction both the driver and passenger in it did not receive any injuries after frontal and side impacts.
2. Renault Laguna (2nd gen), 2001.
Only in the fifth year of Euro NCAP crash tests did a car receive 5 stars for passenger protection – the 2nd generation Renault Laguna. It is especially gratifying that the French not only showed a good result, but did so by learning from their previous failure in 1997. The 1st generation Laguna received three stars, but after examining the body damage experts removed one.
France 1 – Germany 0
Interestingly, even without a driver's knee airbag, which was increasingly used then, the driver’s and the passenger’s legs were marked green. The experts marked only the ribcages yellow, but it did not spoil the impression, because the French had proved that they could beat the Germans!
3. Citroen C6, 2005.
Advertisements for this full-size French sedan are often accompanied by the phrase "for those who understand." Indeed, this car turned out to be underestimated not only in Europe, but even in Russia. Meanwhile, as long as Euro NCAP star-rated the pedestrian protection until 2009 (after which they switched to percentages) Citroen C6 was the only car that scored 4/4 stars. As for child protection, C6 got 4/5 stars, which also turned out to be the highest result since the transition from percentages during the second half of 2003.
The pedestrian friend
The C6 has a special system that raised the hood to protect pedestrians, even upon light contact already. In effect, pedestrian victims would receive minor injuries only, which marked almost the entire hood and the lower edge of the windshield green.
4. Kia Sorento Prime, 2014.
Korean manufacturers subjected their cars to Euro NCAP tests from the very beginning, but their results were mostly depressing. In 2003, the Sedona minivan barely scored 2 stars, with the test dummy’s marked orange all over. The first Kia that showed good results was the 2014 Sorento Prime, which is still popular today.
The trend breaker
The two-ton Korean diesel flawlessly passed side collisions, receiving a maximum of 8 points, and came just short of the ideal score in a frontal impact, with the driver's chest and right shin, and left shin of the front passenger marked yellow and the rest green. The results noted that the nature of the deformation of the cabin indicates that drivers and front passengers of almost any height will be just as well protected, even with the driver's knees touching the front panel.
To be fair, we must note that Kia is less committed towards their car safety with cars not intended for the European market, as is the case with the Seltos. During tests of the Australian organization ANCAP (similar to Euro NCAP), the Seltos driver's pelvic region was marked red after hitting a hard barrier, and his shin brown after colliding with a soft barrier.
5. Mazda CX-30, 2019.
Since 2009, when Euro NCAP experts began evaluating each test with a percentage, there has only been one car that showed 99% protection for the driver and passengers. This is the Mazda CX-30 cross-hatchback, which was presented last year at the Geneva Motor Show.
The car that protects everyone
The Mazda CX-30 you can safely use as a ram against concrete walls, albeit at moderate speeds. When hitting a solid barrier with full overlap, the Japanese got 8/8 points, and 16/16 for a side impact on a pole and collision with another car. The car did not reach a 100% result, however, since a frontal impact threatens the driver and passenger with light bruises on the shins. For child protection, the CX-30 received 23.2/24 points, and with the bumper and the central part of the hood marked green pedestrians are protected for 80%!