Today, Euro NCAP releases the test results of two new cars. The BMW 5 Series gets a five-star safety rating and FIAT’s made-over Doblò gets three stars.
Launched late last year, the seventh-generation BMW 5 Series continues its successful track record in Euro NCAP’s Executive Car segment. The car showed good all-round performance in crash protection and avoidance tests thanks to its new platform, body and updated safety features. Track tests demonstrated that the autonomous braking system can effectively assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating critical rear-end crashes with other cars and pedestrians. With an 81 percent score, the 5-series particularly impressed in pedestrian safety through its standard-fit “Person Warning” system and active bonnet.
Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, however was disappointed by some aspects of the BMW’s performance in testing, “Although the BMW 5 Series achieved a five-star rating, with a host of great active safety systems to avoid crashes and protect pedestrians, its passive performance was a concern. In the full-width frontal test, the driver’s knee airbag did not deploy correctly, allowing for potentially high forces on the knee, femur and pelvis. While we applaud the strides BMW has made in active safety, we hope that doesn't come to the detriment of its strong passive safety record.”
Thirteen years after tests on the original FIAT Doblò, Euro NCAP has taken another look at the versatile small MPV. The latest generation Doblò was already introduced in 2010 and is also sold by Opel and Vauxhall brands as Combo. The version tested by Euro NCAP is the 2015 Doblò facelift that includes, apart from small safety updates, cosmetic upgrades aimed at extending the lifecycle of the car. The three-star Euro NCAP safety rating, however, reveals the car’s true age and highlights the lack of ambition to compete on safety with other, more modern competitors in the segment. The Opel/Vauxhall Combo has not received a similar facelift, so would be expected to end up with even fewer stars, but Opel have their eyes fixed on the future.
Avery comments, “This is another FIAT doing the absolute minimum from a safety perspective, with no AEB fitted. There are family vehicles out there which offer far greater levels of protection.”
Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen, said, “FIAT’s line-up now features several cars that have been on the market for a long time and their safety is well behind the class leaders. Opel have made a clear decision not to implement the changes that FIAT made to get to a three-star rating, but instead have focussed their attention on a complete new Combo, that is being co-developed with Opel’s new owners, PSA, and which Euro NCAP expects to test early next year. In this release, however, BMW has led the way with a new 5 Series that features lots of driver assistance systems which Euro NCAP believes will transform safety in the years to come.”
Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’.
As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research tests and accredits crash repair parts, vehicle repair technicians, and a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.
A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.