The Volkswagen Golf VI has topped the ratings in Euro NCAP’s list of safest cars of 2009.
First tested in 2008 under the former rating scheme, the Volkswagen Golf VI was re-released in 2009.
The Honda Insight Hybrid and Toyota Prius, two fuel-efficient vehicles tested in 2009, were second and third respectively in Euro NCAP’s list of safest crash-tested cars. In fourth place was the Hyundai i20.
There were three joint winners for fifth place – the Toyota Avensis, Volvo XC60 and the Opel/Vauxhall Astra.
Euro NCAP’s poorest results of the year were achieved by the Suzuki Alto and the Toyota Urban Cruiser, which both received three stars.
1. VW Golf VI
2. Honda Insight
3. Toyota Prius
4. Hyundai i20
5. Toyota Avensis
5. Volvo XC60
5. Opel/Vauxhall Astra
In 2009 Euro NCAP crash tested 33 car models, using up to three cars, three front seats, four child seats and an array of spare parts per model. To achieve the overall rating, the car model is usually put through four crash tests, a component test and is assessed by an inspector who considers tests results and the safety equipment and features of the car. In 2009, upon the request of the manufacturer, Euro NCAP also considered results from vehicles crash-tested in 2007/2008 and carried out the necessary tests and assessment to upgrade them to a result applicable under the new rating scheme.
Dr Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP, says: “This is the first time we can calculate results that demonstrate an overall safety performance. Even though these cars excel in different areas of safety, their presence in the top-five list indicates that they are among the top safety achievers of the year.”
In 2010, the threshold to achieve Euro NCAP’s maximum five stars rises from 75 per cent to 80 per cent in adult occupant protection and from 70 per cent to 75 per cent in child occupant protection. The threshold for pedestrian protection rises to 40 per cent.
The first results for vehicles tested under this stricter assessment will be released on March 3. Euro NCAP also releases a list of results in an easily printable table of all cars tested and upgraded in 2009.