Crash testing and safety experts Euro NCAP assessed nearly 70 cars in 2017, and now the organisation has revealed which models were the safest. The Brussels-based program said that 2017 was its busiest-ever year, as it celebrated 20 years of crash testing.
It was Volkswagen that took the most honours this year, with three out of six gongs going to its cars. The sleek and stylish Arteon was crowned the safest executive car – scoring an impressive 96 per cent in the Adult Occupant category, while its advanced safety kit netted it an 82 per cent score in Safety Assist.
Volkswagen's smaller offerings also took home honours – with the T-Roc and Polo taking home the small SUV and supermini categories respectively.
Subaru also had a great 2017, with its XV and Impreza both scoring top marks in the small family car category. Both cars presented identical scores, with 94 per cent in adult occupant protection and 89 per cent in child occupant protection.
Taking the win in the small MPV segment was Vauxhall's Crossland X – though it had the lowest scores of all the award-winners. An adult occupation score of 85 per cent and a child occupant score of 84 per cent is nonetheless very impressive.
But it was the Volvo XC60 that was top performer, winning not only the large SUV category but taking the honour as the safest car Euro NCAP tested in 2017.
Keeping pace with the organisations testing procedures isn't always easy. Fiat proved that in December, as the Punto – a former three-star car when first tested back in 2007 – was reclassified as Euro NCAP's first ever zero-star offering.
With NCAP's standards for safety kit and crash protection becoming stricter each year, manufacturers must continually update their models to get that coveted five-star test result.
Euro NCAP Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen, said, "We have seen a lot of good cars in 2017, able to meet Euro NCAP's five-star requirements. Superminis like the new Polo, the Fiesta and the Ibiza now come with advanced safety technology as standard, offering the best in crash avoidance and crash protection.
"The fact that older cars cannot compete illustrates the pace at which the vehicle industry is innovating safety and the willingness and ability of competitive manufacturers to meet the highest standards. Those who do not keep their cars up to the latest standards get left behind, as these results clearly show."