Safety measures do ‘absolute minimum’

The BMW 5 Series has been given a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, but Fiat’s Doblò was only given three stars.

The BMW showed good all-round performance in crash protection and avoidance tests thanks to its new platform, body and updated safety features. Track tests demonstrated that the autonomous braking system can effectively assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating critical rear-end crashes with other cars and pedestrians. With an 81 per cent score, the it also impressed in pedestrian safety through its standard-fit ‘Person Warning’ system and active bonnet.

Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, said, ‘Although the BMW 5 Series achieved a five-star rating, with a host of great active safety systems to avoid crashes and protect pedestrians, its passive performance was a concern. In the full-width frontal test, the driver’s knee airbag did not deploy correctly, allowing for potentially high forces on the knee, femur and pelvis. While we applaud the strides BMW has made in active safety, we hope that doesn’t come to the detriment of its strong passive safety record.’

However, his comments about the new Fiat were even less encouraging. Thatcham research found the new version included on small safety updates and cosmetic upgrades aimed at extending the lifecycle of the car.

He said, ‘This is another Fiat doing the absolute minimum from a safety perspective, with no AEB fitted. There are family vehicles out there which offer far greater levels of protection.’