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Thatcham Research comment: Toyota Yaris first to score five-stars in updated Euro NCAP tests

Press release   •   Sep 16, 2020 09:00 BST

The Toyota Yaris performed well in Euro NCAP's new far-side impact test

The Toyota Yaris has become the first car to be tested by Euro NCAP following the most significant overhaul to its protocols in a decade.

The car, from the Supermini category, achieved a full five-star rating for safety. Matthew Avery, director of research, Thatcham Research comments: 

“Congratulations to Toyota for producing the first car to achieve a five-star rating against Euro NCAP’s updated assessments.

“We were especially pleased to see the Yaris perform so well in the new far-side impact test, which measures an occupant’s lateral movement towards the opposite side of the vehicle. As drivers, we don’t tend to consider the dangers that occupants – usually family or friends – can present to one another during a collision. The inclusion of centre airbags to offer compartmentalised protection, and avoid or reduce contact between occupants, is a genuinely encouraging development for crash safety.

“With the Yaris, Toyota has shown that cars of any size or category can meet the new benchmark set by the world’s most exacting safety testing programme.” 

See below for the full Euro NCAP press release, with comments from Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP secretary general:

Safety Rebooted: New Toyota Yaris Sets the Benchmark for Small Family Car Safety

Today, Euro NCAP returns with the result of the first car to be rated against its revamped 2020 protocols. Toyota’s latest small family car, the Yaris, chalks up a full five stars.

Toyota’s fourth-generation Yaris emerges with flying colours from Euro NCAP’s 2020 test programme. The car is the first to be subjected to an all-new frontal offset test, which replaces the one previously used since the programme started in 1997, and is the first to feature a counter-measure for injuries in far-side impacts. 

The mobile progressive deformable barrier (MPDB) test assesses the protection a car offers its occupants as well as the risks it poses to the car it has crashed into. The Yaris, in general, does well, its small size and benign front end making it one of the less aggressive crash partners on the road. 

Two centre-mounted airbags inflate in side impacts to limit an occupants’ travel to the opposite side of the vehicle and to mitigate the risk of occupant to occupant contact. 

The Yaris also showcases the rapid advancements in crash avoidance technology: the latest generation of Toyota Safety Sense now can stop the vehicle during turning to avoid a crash with oncoming traffic.

Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen, said “Congratulations to Toyota on a top rating for the Yaris. This has been a tough year for all concerned and I am grateful to Euro NCAP’s labs and employees who have worked hard to deliver safety, while staying safe. We have had to adapt quickly to new working practices, and it is pleasing that the first car rated this year should have gone so far to address the safety issues that are emerging as top priorities.”

In addition to this new assessment, Audi's e-tron Sportback variant shares its stablemate’s 2019 five-star rating. And Renault’s hybrid variant of the Clio is also added to the list of 2019-rated vehicles, with similar performance to the combustion-engined car tested last year.


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.