Crash experts name the safest cars of the past year

Crash experts name the safest cars of the past year
Crash experts name the safest cars of the past year

New models from Tesla, Subaru and Mercedes-Benz are among the safest cars launched in 2019, according to crash test experts.

Car safety examiners from Euro NCAP have announced their “best of the best” from the last 12 months, with Tesla’s Model 3, the new Subaru Forester and Mercedes-Benz CLA among the category winners.

They were joined by models from Audi, BMW and Renault in the assessment body’s list of the best-performing cars, with Ford, Mazda, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen all claiming runner-up positions.

Euro NCAP tested 55 new models in 2019, with 41 cars attained a top five-star rating in what it called one of the most impressive years on record. However, even within those ratings some models outperformed others, winning them the best in class titles across six key cateories.

Telsa’s Model 3 took the title in the electric and hybrid class and shared the honours with the BMW 3 Series in the overall large family category. While the Tesla led the way in safety assistance, the BMW offered superior pedestrian protection.

Tesla Model 3 crash test
The Tesla Model 3 took awards in two categories (Photo: Euro NCAP)

The American brand’s Model X also outperformed its rivals in the large off-road category, scoring 98 per cent for adult occupant protection and 94 per cent for its safety assist systems but a relatively poor 72 per cent for vulnerable road user protection. Only the Mazda CX-30 – a runner-up in the small off-road class – offered better adult occupant protection.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA took over from the related A-Class as the safest in the small family car category, as well as topping the overall Euro NCAP 2019 ratings. Its 91 per cent ratings for child occupant and vulnerable road user protection were unbeaten and a 96 per cent score for adult occupant protection was among the best of the year.

Mercedes-Benz’s CLA was the best performing small family car (Photo: Euro NCAP)

In the small off-road/MPV class, the recently updated Subaru Forester led the way, ahead of the Mazda CX-30 and VW T-Cross, with particularly strong performance in the occupant protection tests. It was also in the 10 highest ratings for safety assist systems with its Eyesight driver assistance system offer dual front camera support, rear vehicle detection and driver monitoring technology.

Audi’s A1 and the new Renault Clio were tied for the safest supermini of the year, with the Audi’s better safety assistance and pedestrian protection making up for slightly poorer occupant protection. Ford’s Puma took the runner-up spot.

Euro NCAP’s best in class 2019

Class Winner Runner-up
Large Family Car   Tesla Model 3 & BMW 3 series Škoda Octavia
Large Off-Road Tesla Model X SEAT Tarraco
Small Family Car Mercedes-Benz CLA Mazda 3
Small Off-Road/MPV Subaru Forester Mazda CX-30 & VW T-Cross
Supermini Audi A1 & Renault Clio Ford Puma
Hybrid & Electric Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model X

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