Safety body Euro NCAP has subjected the latest batch of new cars to its rigorous testing – and it’s encouraging news for Hyundai, Lexus, Mazda and Mercedes.

Starting with the latter, the new A-Class scooped the maximum five star rating, which, in three out of four categories, achieved some of the highest scores awarded in 2018. In three areas it scored over 90 per cent: 96 in the adult occupant category, 91 for child occupants, and protection for vulnerable road users – including cyclists and pedestrians – it achieved 92 per cent.

Safest cars on sale 2018

Safety features like autonomous emergency braking were also assessed; here the A-Class also scored top marks. An overall rating of 72 percent was a result of a lane keep assist system which NCAP only considered between ‘Adequate’ and ‘Marginal’ in its operation.

The second highest adult occupant score in the latest round of testing went to the revised Mazda 6, which scored 95 per cent. It then effectively matched the Mercedes’s 91 per cent score in the child occupant category, and scored a similar 73 per cent in the safety assist tests.

However, it achieved a lower 66 per cent score in the vulnerable road users category, which was attributed to the leading edge of the bonnet and A-Pillars both posing a risk of injury.

Hyundai’s hydrogen-fuelled Nexo also scored the Maximum five star score. It impressed testers with a 94 per cent adult occupant score, and its 80 per cent safety assist rating has only been bettered by the Volkswagen Touareg in 2018. Child occupant and vulnerable road user scores were rated at 87 and 67 per cent respectively.

The final five-star car from the October tests was the Lexus ES. It also impressed across the board: 91 per cent for the adult occupant category, 87 per cent for child occupants, 90 per cent for vulnerable road users and 77 per cent for the safety assist category.

PSA’s latest van-based batch of people movers, the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Rifter and Vauxhall Combo Life, were each awarded a four star rating. Each achieved identical ratings of 91 percent for adult occupants, 81 percent for children, 58 percent for vulnerable road users and 68 percent for safety assist systems.

Their performance in the vulnerable road users category knocked a star off their overall scores: the tall bonnet and stiff windscreen pillars dropped the overall mark, and the autonomous emergency braking system is unable to detect cyclists.

Read more about the Mercedes A-Class here…

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