2015 was a crucial year for Europe’s New Car Assessment Program, the EuroNCAP safety organization. They introduced a new full-width frontal test, and it changed the almost uninterrupted stream of cars that kept getting five stars in their tests.
A Guide to EuroNCAP's Safest Cars of 2015
The European organization tested over 40 vehicles last year, and they drafted a list of the safest ones in each category. Like in IIHS or NHTSA crash tests, the cars in the categories specified are not comparable, as each class of vehicle has its safety regulations.
Since the year this organization was founded, EuroNCAP has always pushed carmakers to build safer cars. Thankfully, the European Union has gradually increased its safety requirements, so manufacturers cannot sell any modern death traps on wheels, but the organization is pushing for even stricter standards.
After all, to most customers, safety matters only when they need it the most, but few pay extra for improved passive or active safety systems. That is why EuroNCAP always takes into account the safety systems available as standard equipment along with the optional safety features that are more likely to be purchased by the majority of customers.
It is worth remembering that not even a five-star safety-rated vehicle guarantees full protection in the case of an accident, and that these ratings apply to certain situations.
So try to buy the safest car you can afford, but keep in mind that the safest you can afford isn’t the safest in the world, no matter what model you choose. Before we present you with a list of the safest cars tested in 2015 by the NHTSA and the IIHS, it is time to review the safest cars reviewed last year by the EuroNCAP. 2016 Mazda MX-5
The Japanese roadster is one of the most affordable new cars in its class, and EuroNCAP has deemed it the safest they tested in 2015. The MX-5 scored four stars overall in the independent organization’s assessment, but this didn’t happen because of a passive safety issue. The MX-5 lost points because it isn’t available with a front assist system that would automatically apply the brakes in the case of an imminent frontal impact.2016 Volkswagen Touran
Volkswagen’s Touran obtained a five-star rating from EuroNCAP. The German MPV achieved an adult occupant protection score of 88% and was appreciated for the level of safety equipment it featured. The German model did not get the maximum score for occupant protection in all tests, as some areas of the body received just the “Adequate” protection level. The operation of the autonomous emergency system was appreciated by EuroNCAP engineers. 2016 Ford Galaxy
The Galaxy scored an overall five-star rating in the EuroNCAP assessment. This MPV also had high scores for adult and child occupant protection. Like the Touran, the Galaxy didn’t achieve the maximum score for protecting its passengers, and some areas of the body weren’t protected to the highest level available, as EuroNCAP engineers found.
The independent organization also took note of this model’s optional camera system that can read out speed limit information and adjust the vehicle’s speed accordingly if the driver allows it. 2016 Honda Jazz
Honda’s subcompact offering, the Jazz, also scored five stars in EuroNCAP testing. Adult occupant protection received an unusually high score of 93%, while the other categories evaluated obtained appropriate points. But even though it received such a high score for adult occupant protection, some areas of the body didn’t achieve the maximum level of safety in particular crash tests.
This car’s autonomous emergency system wasn’t evaluated, but the Jazz features a high level of active safety equipment, so it scored 71% of the available points.2016 Infiniti Q30
Infiniti’s first ever compact car did a good job on its EuroNCAP crash test sessions, as it attained a five-star rating. The car proved exceptionally safe for pedestrians, as it achieved a score of 91% thanks to an active hood. The level of safety assist equipment was graded at 81%, while adult occupant protection was evaluated at 84%. Partly to thank for its good score is also its platform, since the Q30 is based on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, which also scored five stars at EuroNCAP.2016 Jaguar XE
Jaguar’s 3 Series rival, the XE, can also boast of its five-star rating in EuroNCAP tests last year. The British sedan did very well for adult occupant protection, where it received 92% of available points. The level of safety assist was graded at 82%, a more than reasonable score for a premium car. Like other five-star models, the XE didn’t manage to attain the maximum protection level for each body part, as EuroNCAP diagrams show. 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC
Mercedes-Benz’s GLC was deemed the safest model in its class, so naturally, the model achieved a five-star safety rating from EuroNCAP. Adult occupant protection was rated at an excellent 95%, while pedestrian safety was assessed at 82%, a good level for an SUV.
The standard of safety assist equipment and their operation was evaluated at 71%. Even with a score of 95% for adult occupant protection, the GLC didn’t have the maximum protection level for all body areas in all the tests done by EuroNCAP last year.2016 Volvo XC90
Volvo’s flagship SUV was deemed the safest car tested in 2015 by EuroNCAP. As expected, this model is the safest in its class and achieved a five-star score from the independent organization. The XC90 obtained a 97% rating for adult occupant protection, an almost perfect score. The Swedish SUV did accomplish a score of 100% for its safety assist systems, and those comprise an excellent range of technologies to prevent crashes.
After all, Volvo has promised the world that nobody will lose their lives in a Volvo made after 2020. Pedestrian safety is also at a high level for an SUV, rated at 72%. The XC90 features an autonomous emergency braking system called City Safety, capable of detecting pedestrians, and that works at all speeds starting from 4 km/h (2.5 mph).
EuroNCAP testing revealed that the auto-brake function only managed to avoid a crash with a stationary car at speeds of up to 70 km/h (43 mph). If the driver manages to react to the warning, a crash can be avoided at speeds of up to 80 km/h (50 mph). Tests revealed that the effects of such an accident are successfully mitigated by the system.
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