The UK’s independent research centre, Thatcham Research, has announced the safest new cars of 2017, and long list of finalists for the What Car? Safety Award.
This year’s tests have shown that there is more choice than ever in choosing a safe car. As manufacturers continue to raise the safety bar, the UK and Irish public are safer on roads than ever before.
The list of 10 cars, taken from the 2016 Euro NCAP ratings, all meet the strict criteria for the award, which include track-based testing of collision avoidance systems and achieving top marks in crash tests, all part of the five-star rating system.
Safety technology fitted to the vehicle must include: Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB ) fitted as standard and some form of Safety Assist technology beyond NCAP assessment such as lane keeping systems. The cars are then judged on market relevance and value for money. All 2017 long list finalists also feature Pedestrian, low speed City and high speed Inter-Urban AEB as standard.
The 2017 long list includes: the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi Q2, Ford Edge, Hyundai Ioniq, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Peugeot 3008, Renault Scenic, Seat Ateca, Toyota Prius, and Volkswagen Tiguan. All vehicles included in the long list are remarkably similar in terms of specification and purchase price, with the Mercedes- Benz E-Class being the only more expensive executive vehicle of the list.
Thatcham Research says that it is committed to driving the adoption of safer cars at all price points, not just higher list price vehicles. The 2016 commended vehicle, the Honda Jazz, was highly praised as the first supermini to offer AEB as standard across all trim lines, at an accessible purchase price.
The long list also includes vehicles which feature innovations go above and beyond the current Euro NCAP testing and offer major safety benefits. For the first time, Ford have fitted AEB as standard across all trims of a new model – the Ford Edge.
The Peugeot 3008 features Intelligent Speed Adaption system on all trims, as standard. The Speed Limit Recognition and Recommendation system uses a windscreen-mounted camera to detect and display the speed limit for the road on which the driver is travelling. In addition to making the driver aware of the speed limit, there is also the option to limit the vehicle to the posted speed limit, taking the stress out of long motorway roadworks.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class features a unique and highly innovative Junction Assistant system that can prevent side crashes at T-junctions and intersections.
The presence of four small SUVs on the list also demonstrates the growing market share of crossovers, and 50 per cent of vehicles in the list could be described as family wagons.
The overall Euro NCAP scores are, however, lower than last year, driven by tougher tests and the more mainstream nature of the vehicles involved.
The winner of the What Car? Safety Award 2017 will be announced on January 11, 2017.