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Renault Clio Pole crash test May 2019
Renault Clio Pole crash test May 2019

Press release -

Clean sweep of five-star cars means drivers have never been safer

  • Carmakers commended for safety performance as all seven cars tested by Euro NCAP this month achieve five-star ratings
  • Renault Clio achieves highest Adult Occupant Protection score seen for a supermini since the 2017 VW Polo
  • Mazda 3 joins exclusive 98% club for Adult Occupant Protection
  • VW T-Cross scores an impressive five-stars for all-round performance
  • Audi e-tron, Lexus UX, Toyota Corolla and Toyota RAV4 achieve five-stars

Results from the latest batch of vehicles to be rated against Euro NCAP’s most demanding tests to date have been announced today. Cars from Audi, Lexus, Mazda, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen all achieved the maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating for safety.

In this group of five-star rated cars, the Renault Clio, Mazda 3 and VW T-Cross have been highly praised.

Matthew Avery, Director of Research, Thatcham Research comments, “The Renault Clio is now one of the safest affordable cars on the market, achieving the highest Adult Occupant Protection Score seen in the supermini category since the VW Polo in 2017. The Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that come with the model, such as the Highway & Traffic Jam Companion and Easy Park Assist, also make it a standout performer at this price point.

“The Mazda 3 is another star performer. It is the first car this year to achieve a 98% score for Adult Occupant Protection, making it a favourable choice for families. The small SUV category is one of Europe’s fastest-growing, so it’s great news to see VW’s versatile T-Cross showing strong performance across the board too – rating highly on passive and active safety protection.

“Achieving a five-star rating has never been so demanding, so it is pleasing to see carmakers continuing to rise to the challenge. Consumers have never had it so good and can expect nothing less than top level safety from these vehicles.”

Vehicles scoring 98% for Adult Occupant Protection (2015-2019)
Volvo V40 98% 2012
Alfa Romeo Giulia 98% 2016
Volvo XC60 98% 2017
Mazda 3 98% 2019


Star performers

Renault has raised its safety game, with the new Clio commended for its collision avoidance systems and Child Occupant safety score (89%). The Renault Clio’s Adult Occupant Protection score (96%) also equals the previous high set in the supermini category by the VW Polo in 2017.

It is the first Renault vehicle to come with a 360° camera, giving the driver a view from above to detect any obstacles around the vehicle, while the Highway & Traffic Jam Companion feature is a “big step forwards in the democratisation of driver assistance technology” according to Avery.

The new Mazda 3 achieved the highest Euro NCAP rating for Adult Occupant Safety (98%) this year. It has also been praised for its new Cruising & Traffic Support system which assists with accelerator, brake and steering input to reduce fatigue in highway traffic jams.

The VW T-Cross was another all-round performer. The vehicle’s 97% score for Adult Occupant Protection ensures it offers strong protection in the event of a crash. The VW T-Cross also achieved an impressive Safety Assist score (80%) – rating highly for standard-fit crash avoidance technology which includes a front assist/radar sensor-controlled distance monitoring system, an AEB city emergency braking system and Predictive Pedestrian Protection.

‘Unfaltering commitment to safety’

The Audi e-tron, Lexus UX, Toyota Corolla and Toyota RAV4 have also achieved five-stars for their safety performance in these latest Euro NCAP tests. All vehicles have AEB Pedestrian & Cyclist fitted as standard, as well as speed assistance and lane assist technology to maximise safety.

The Audi e-tron is the first hybrid car to be awarded five-stars by Euro NCAP this year. It joins the Hyundai NEXO and Nissan Leaf, which were also awarded five-stars in 2018, in demonstrating that alternative fuelled vehicles need not pose a risk to car safety.

Avery comments, “So far this year, car manufacturers have shown an unfaltering commitment to safety. All 12 new models sold have achieved five-star ratings* and come with sophisticated standard-fit Autonomous Emergency Braking systems which can detect pedestrians and cyclists, lane assist and speed assistance systems.

“It is pleasing to see these carmakers maintain such a consistent five-star safety record, working with Euro NCAP to protect occupants and vulnerable road users. These cars are acing it in the hardest and most exacting car safety testing regime globally.”

*Previous five-star rated cars from 2019: Seat Tarraco, Mercedes Benz G Class, Honda CR-V, and Range Rover Evoque. The Citroën C5 Aircross achieves five-stars when the optional safety pack is purchased.

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Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety, security & 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’, while driving standards in vehicle security.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research develops repair methods amongst a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

In addition, Thatcham Research has administered the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) Group Rating system for the past 50 years. Group Rating is an advisory system intended to provide insurers with the relative risk of private cars and light commercial vehicles.

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.

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Thatcham Research

Safer cars, fewer crashes...

As the UK's only insurer funded automotive research centre, Thatcham Research enjoy a wide remit at the forefront of the latest vehicle technology. Thatcham's leading work in vehicle safety and security has a vital role in shaping the designs of new vehicles, whilst the centre is also seen as a key industry player at the forefront of driving standards in vehicle body repair.

Thatcham's Crash Laboratory is the only official UK crash testing centre for consumer safety body Euro NCAP and are viewed as a centre of excellence when it comes to active vehicle safety, particularly the evaluation of new Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) which provide the foundation for future vehicle autonomy.

Enjoying an increasingly global influence in both the insurance and automotive sectors, Thatcham Research expertise is in great demand with a range of opinion leaders being regularly asked to provide their experience and know-how at high profile events and in the media, living up to their reputation as ‘Experts in Safety, Security and Crash Repair’.

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