Euro NCAP has today published its second to last release of the year. A dozen cars were put to the test against the 2018-2019 protocols that within a little will come to an end.
The Peugeot 2008 was tested with optional safety pack and with standard safety equipment achieving five and four stars, respectively. The updated VW Sharan and twin sister SEAT Alhambra get a creditable four stars, while the facelifted Jeep Renegade claims only three.
The stand-out performer of this round is undoubtedly Tesla’s Model X, scoring 94 percent for Safety Assist, the same as the Model 3 scored early this year. This makes the two Teslas the best performers in this part of the assessment against Euro NCAP’s most recent protocols. The recently-updated Model X also achieved an impressive 98 percent for adult occupant protection, making it strong contender for Best in Class this year.
Another eye-catcher of this round is the Taycan, Porsche’s first full electric car that has been dubbed a rival to the Tesla Model S and Jaguar I-PACE in the all-electric sedan segment. While the Taycan is all about high-performance electric driving and primarily targets the high-end of the consumer market, it is reassuring that the car achieved the full five stars in safety testing.
The Škoda Octavia, Renault Captur, the Ford Kuga and Audi Q7 all performed well in different size categories. The Peugeot 2008 shares the same platform with other models of the PSA Group, such as the second generation DS3 Crossback and the Opel Corsa of which ratings were released earlier this year. Like the DS3, the Peugeot 2008 offers an optional “Safety Plus” pack on all variants, that adds a radar sensor alongside the standard camera and gives the car enhanced AEB capabilities. Subaru’s new Forester also performed well all-round, showing off its family car credentials by scoring particularly well in child occupant protection. The Forester completes an all five-star line-up for the Japanese manufacturer.
The Volkswagen Sharan, and its SEAT twin, the Alhambra, have been around for several years by now. Nevertheless, the VW group has done a fine job in keeping them up-to-date in terms of safety, with the addition of autonomous emergency braking and rear seatbelt load-limiters. The outcome is a still-competitive four-star rating, and the cars are amongst the few to offer i-Size compatibility in all rear seats and integrated child restraints as an option in the second row. This make them still ideal transport for a growing family.
The venerable Mondeo has also been updated with AEB, and rear pre-tensioners and load-limiters, and offers safety to rival many newer vehicles. In contrast, the facelifted Jeep Renegade still offers AEB only as an option and becomes the only car so far this year to achieve a rating of less than four stars.
Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, “Well done to Tesla and the other 5 stars performers for not only bringing best in class performance in testing but also 2 making safety systems accessible and standard across the European market. It is also good to see manufacturers – Ford and Volkswagen in this case –standardising AEB and keeping safety up-to-date even for older cars, to the benefit of their customers. It’s a pity that not everyone follows this example, and by prioritising looks over substance Jeep ended up at the bottom of the list of this year’s rated cars. The good news is that consumers have more choice than ever to find a safer alternative. ”
Commenting on the latest safety testing results, Matthew Avery, director of research, Thatcham Research and Euro NCAP board member said, “The devil’s in the detail when you compare the Euro NCAP assessments of the Tesla Model X and Porsche Taycan. Both are safe cars, but the Tesla Model X is the stand-out.”
It’s 94% Safety Assist score matches the result achieved by the Tesla Model 3 earlier in 2019. This remains the best result in the category by some margin, although the 83% score achieved by the Porsche Taycan is now the second highest Safety Assist score this year.
“Tesla has long touted its cars as some of the safest on the market and given the performance of the Tesla Model 3 and Model X in Euro NCAP testing, they might just be right,” added Avery. “However, the brand’s tendency to overstate the autonomous capability of its driver support systems remains a concern. These systems are leaders in crash avoidance, but drivers should not be encouraged to over-rely on them and must stay attentive at all times.”
The Tesla Model X achieved its category leading score for a variety of reasons, according to Avery. “The car performed exceedingly well in most assessments of its safety technologies,” he said. “Where the Autonomous Emergency Braking systems fitted to some vehicles struggle to identify impact targets and brake too late, the Tesla Model X does so very early and brakes intelligently. Multiple cameras on the front, side and b-pillar, combine with radar to give it state-of-the-art performance.”