Every year, Euro NCAP painstakingly tests a whole host of new cars on their ability to protect occupants and pedestrians in the case of an accident.
Last year, 36 models (all available on the European market) were rigorously tested in four individual marking criteria: adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and safety assist systems.
Click on the gallery below to see the new cars recommended by Euro NCAP for their outstanding safety performance...
Euro NCAP 2012 Best in Class
Euro NCAP reveals the safest cars of 2012
Renault Clio 1.0 base grade
Even in its most basic form, the Renault Clio offers great handing, an economical engine and now a 5-star Euro NCAP rating. An 89% child occupant safety rating is one of the best NCAP has awarded.
Volvo V40 1.4 diesel ‘Kinetic’
Volvo has built a reputation based on extremely safe vehicles and they continue to do so in their newest models. The full 5-stars were awarded as was a 98% adult occupancy safety score. The V40 also nailed 100% for safety assist functions such as seatbelt reminders, lane assists and electronic speed limiters.
BMW 3 Series 320d
A 95% adult occupancy rating and a very credible 78% pedestrian safety rating meant the big Beemer was awarded the full five stars. A great, economical option for families looking for a safe and reliable car.
Ford B-Max 1.5 diesel ‘Trend’
Despite lacking B-pillars, the brilliant B-Max still managed to prove it’s one of the safest MPVs money can buy. Adult and child occupancy scores were high but pedestrian safety was down to 67%, mainly due to the vehicle’s raised driving position. Still, it garnered the full five Euro NCAP stars.
Ford Kuga 2. Diesel ‘Trend’
Another Ford makes the list with brilliant adult and child occupancy safety ratings. Despite its raised driving position and off-road abilities, the Kuga managed to score a 70% pedestrian safety rating and full marks on safety assistance.
Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 diesel 5 seat ‘Comfort’
The big Hyundai has impressed journalists across the board with its off-road prowess, stylish looks and surprisingly well-specced interior. Adult occupancy rating is a very impressive 96%, as is child occupancy at 89%.