SAFETY FIRSTS

Top Five Safest (New) Cars on the Mar­ket

Driven - - Heritage - Re­port by DEON VAN DER WALT | Im­ages © EURO NCAP

Ever won­dered what the safest new car on the mar­ket is? We have. That’s why we took a browse through Euro NCAP’s pub­lished re­sults for cars crash-tested in 2017. Why there, you might ask. Well, who knows safety bet­ter than the guys who wear crispy white lab coats and crash cars (in the name of safety) for a liv­ing?

These days, five-star crash test rat­ings are a dime-a-dozen. So, how to find the safest new car on the mar­ket then? Well, we set a strin­gent list of re­quire­ments of course.

Firstly, each car must be avail­able in South Africa, be it at the moment of writ­ing this ar­ti­cle, or in the near fu­ture. Se­condly, each car should have been tested by the Euro­pean New Car As­sess­ment Pro­gramme dur­ing 2017 and should not have been fit­ted with op­tional safety en­hance­ment packs.

While Euro NCAP re­wards the var­i­ous cars within their re­spec­tive seg­ments, the test stan­dards re­main the same. All ve­hi­cles are judged on how well they per­form across four cat­e­gories.

- Adult Oc­cu­pant Pro­tec­tion: How well a

car can pro­tect its adult oc­cu­pants.

- Child Oc­cu­pant Pro­tec­tion: How well pro­tected chil­dren are while strapped into a child seat.

- Pedes­trian Pro­tec­tion: How well a car pro­tects ‘Vul­ner­a­ble Road Users’ with whom it might col­lide. Po­ten­tial risk of in­juries is also con­sid­ered. - Safety As­sists: On-board safety-re­lated sys­tems are judged in this cat­e­gory, and in­cludes ev­ery­thing from seat belt re­minders to lane-keep as­sist.

Since the trea­sured five-star rat­ing is noth­ing new, we de­cided to se­lect only the best ve­hi­cles from the five-star club. Next, we did not merely judge cars on the in­di­vid­ual Euro NCAP cat­e­gories as listed above. In­stead, we worked out the av­er­age over­all safety re­sults in the ap­pli­ca­ble cat­e­gories.

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