Thanks to the resurgence of Top Gear in the last decade, and the zany antics of Messrs Clarkson, Hammond and May, the way in which many television motoring shows review cars has changed greatly.
In the past we may have had considered segments on technical aspects, on fuel consumption or whether you can get daily insurance. Now instead we tend to see the focus switch to power and speed instead and are more likely to find out how well a vehicle performs against a bobsled, or a bullet train, or Linford Christie on a turbo-charged mobility scooter than how suitable it is for the school-run.
But whilst the TV shows may focus on performance, for many of us the key selling point lies elsewhere. Safety. We have families, we have loved ones and we want to ensure that there are protected should the worst happen on the road. Thankfully for us vehicles are being made safer, and there are an increasing number of organisations which test to see just how safe our cars are, with Euro NCAP being one such group. Each year Euro NCAP organise crash-tests and gives realistic advice to consumers on the safest cars on the market.
Euro NCAP’s testing looks at four key areas; adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and safety assist systems. And in accordance with this testing, below you’ll find the six safest cars on European roads today, as per their 2012 testing.
The Renault Clio scored a remarkable 99% in Euro NCAP’s safety assist system area boasting as it does effective seatbelt reminders for all occupants as well as speed limitation assistance and electronic stability control. All this contributed to the Clio being crowned the safest car in the ‘Supermini’ category.
The five-door Volvo V40 vehicle scored very efficiently for ‘adult occupant safety’ for both front and side impact with the seat and head restraints providing good protection against whiplash injury in the event of a rear-end collision. Its overall effectiveness makes it the top car in Euro NCAP’s ‘Small Family’ category.
BMW 3 Series
Like the Volvo V40, the BMW 3 Series scored particularly well when it came to adult occupant safety. Leading the field when it comes to safety in ‘Large Family’ vehicles, it offers good protection to all areas of the body for adult passengers of varying sizes according to Euro NCAP’s data.
The Fiat 500L continues to pave the way when it comes to safety in the ‘Small MPV’ category. The car’s City Brake Control, an autonomous emergency braking system which helps the driver to avoid a low-speed crash by using sensors to detect potential accident points was key to the Fiat 500L’s effective scoring.
A 100% score in Euro NCAP’s ‘safety assist’ category helped the Ford Kuga to leave the other vehicles trailing in the ‘Small Off-Road 4×4’ vehicle section. The Kuga’s SYNC Emergency Assistance feature, which makes an automatic call to the emergency services if the Kuga is involved in a serious accident, giving the vehicle’s GPS position as it does so, was central to that high rating.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai’s Santa Fe sits as top dog when it comes to safety amongst ‘Large Off-Road 4×4’ vehicles. Performing particularly well for the safety of child occupants the Hyundai Santa Fe allows for the passenger airbag to be disabled if a rear facing safety seat is placed on the passenger seat.
When it comes to safety and security it is important to make sure you have all bases covered. Even when making a one-off journey it is important to ensure you have appropriate short-term car insurance in place as you never know what can happen on the road.
So next time you’re looking to buy a new vehicle, forget how impressive the car looks when racing a submarine, being turned into a hovercraft, or going the long way to Tipperary on a single tank of petrol, and instead take account of the vehicle’s safety performance a little more closely which is sure to help reduce your temporary car insurance quote.
Hiten Solanki is a digital marketer and freelance writer currently based in London and writing on behalf of a number of clients including TempCover.