Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Euro NCAP ratings for the Fiat 500, Renault Twingo, Kia Cee'd and Peugeot 308

The Euro NCAP results have just been published for these four cars. When these ratings were first introduced, it was quite common for even fairly grand models from manufacturers with a good safety reputation to achieve only two or three stars out of five on the main Adult Occupant Protection score.

Over the years, it has sometimes been argued that the tests don't capture the complicated sorts of challenges presented by real-world accidents and that manufacturers may be designing their cars to get good test results rather than for ultimate safety. But I suspect these grumbles are overdone and that the tests have played an important role in driving up standards.

Now, a five-star result for Adult Occupant Protection has become almost essential in market terms, so when a mainstream model gets only four stars, that tends to attract a bit of comment. All of the models listed here get five stars except the Twingo, which gets four. What's remarkable about this is that, of the mass manufacturers, Renault was the one that really appreciated early on how important these ratings could be in building its reputation, and, over the years, it has bagged a whole series of five star scores for its cars.

These days, with the five star rating for adult passengers becoming so common, it's the ratings for the protection of child occupants and pedestrians that really separate cars. None of these four models achieve the maximum five stars for Child Occupant Protection, or four stars for Pedestrian Protection. In fact no Child Occupant Protection score is published for the Twingo at all. Not sure what is going on there.

Oh, and a quick PS - sorry to be so boring by going on about the Kia Cee'd again but the five star rating awarded to this car is yet another piece of evidence that it is right up there with the best comparable models from the european manufacturers.

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