Euro NCAP names top performers

Euro NCAP has named the Toyota Prius, the Hyundai Ioniq and the VW Tiguan as its Best in Class vehicles of 2016.

With 18 new passenger cars and four heavy quadricycles tested during 2016, Euro NCAP awarded the Toyota Prius ‘Large Family Car’; the Hyundai Ioniq ‘Small Family Car’; and the VW Tiguan ‘Small Off-Roader’ category winners of 2016.

The past 12 months saw the introduction of some significant changes to Euro NCAP’s ratings scheme. The inclusion of tests for pedestrian-detecting autobrake systems drove a huge increase in fitment of this life-saving technology, mostly as standard equipment but also as an option. The Toyota Prius, winner in the Large Family Car category, was the first car to undergo tests of its AEB Pedestrian technology. Its standard-fitted safety pack, ‘Toyota Safety Sense’, performed well and managed to recognise and avoid or mitigate potential crashes with pedestrians. The excellent performance of the SEAT Ateca in these tests was also noted.

While ‘Best in Class’ is based only on cars with standard safety equipment, several car manufacturers took advantage of Euro NCAP’s new ‘dual rating’ system in 2016.  In addition to a star rating indicating the safety of a car with only standard safety equipment, a second rating demonstrates the benefits of optional safety equipment. In general, the optional ‘safety pack’ includes AEB, including pedestrian-detecting auto-brake systems, and the scheme was used for Superminis, Small Family Cars and one Pickup – competitive segments that might well otherwise have missed out on advanced driver assistance technologies.

Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen said, ‘Some technologies are expensive and we recognised that it may not be possible for manufacturers to include them as standard equipment across the range and, at the same time, keep basic variants affordable for the target market. The dual rating scheme lets them phase in sales more gradually, keeping cars affordable but, at the same time, giving consumers the chance to take advantage of these important safety technologies. We’re pleased to see such a broad uptake of pedestrian-detecting AEB systems in 2016, as standard or as an option.’