Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class is the safest large family car on the road according to the European New Car Assessment Programme.
The German luxury car manufacturer saw its vehicle achieve the highest overall scores for safety after independent crash tests by Euro NCAP.
Based in Brussels in Belgium and founded in 1997 by the Transport Research Laboratory for the Department for Transport in the UK, the programme was set up as a voluntary vehicle safety rating system that awards ‘star ratings’.
This includes frontal impact tests – performed at 40mph – which stimiulate crashing a car into another of ‘similar mass and structure’ so that only cars of the same type and size can be compared, side impact tests (at 31mph), side impact pole test (18mph), pedestrian safety tests (at 25mph) and since 2009, rear impact tests.
Euro NCAP’s work is generally considered to have contributed to European car manufacturers making their cars much safer although testing is not mandatory.
In 2014, the assessors added new new requirements for autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and technologies which help people to drive safely and avoid a crash.
All of the large family cars tested by Euro NCAP in 2014 achieved a five star rating but the Mercedes scored more points for the best performing large family car. The Nissan Qashqai was considered the safest small family car.
The Skoda Fabia was the top-rated small hatchback and, interestingly, the only car in this category to achieve five stars from a total of 14 vehicles tested throughout 2014.
In the small MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) section, the Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan took the plaudits with only half of the entrants scoring three stars with Euro NCAP commenting that ‘manufacturers are still struggling to make driver assist technology available in market segments where every cent counts’.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport was voted the best small off-road 4x4, while the Lexus NX was the best alternatively-fuelled vehicles tested in 2014 followed by Tesla Model S by a small margin – just five of the 40 unique models tested were all-electric or hybrid cars.
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Posted : 2015-01-14
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