2017 Euro NCAP crash tests: Toyota C-HR, Audi Q5 and Land Rover Discovery SUVs earn five stars

Article by Christian A., on March 3, 2017

We all want to know how safe our vehicles are on the road. Of course, carmakers do brag about the safety levels of their offerings, but it’s really up to unbiased assessment agencies to tell us the real deal. In Europe, the safety levels of new cars are tested by European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP). In fact, Euro NCAP just completed its latest round of safety tests, and the results were quite mixed.

For the latest round of testing, six vehicles underwent Euro NCAP’s stringent process: Audi Q5, Citroen C3, Fiat 500, Ford Ka+, Land Rover Discovery and Toyota C-HR. The results of the tests should make the people at Audi, Land Rover and Toyota leap for joy while leave those at Fiat and Ford scratching their heads. Euro NCAP’s overall safety rating is based on assessment in four important areas: Adult protection; Child protection; Pedestrian protection; and Safety Assist technologies. Vehicles are rated overall from one to five stars. The more stars a vehicle has, the safer it is.

According to Euro-NCAP, both the new Audi Q5 luxury SUV and Toyota C-HR subcompact crossover were able to earn five-star ratings from the assessment program, thanks to their good all-round performance. A five-star rating means these vehicles offer overall good performance in crash protection and are well-equipped with robust crash avoidance technology. In particular, the Toyota C-HR scored 95 percent for Adult protection; 77 percent for Child protection; 76 percent for Pedestrian protection; and 78 percent for Safety Assist technologies. The new Audi Q5, meanwhile, earned 93 percent for Adult protection; 86 percent for Child protection; 73 percent for Pedestrian protection; and 58 percent for Safety Assist technologies.

While the scores of the Land Rover Discovery SUV were enough to allow it to earn a five-star rating, there were some issues noted by Euro NCAP. For instance, insufficient pressure caused the driver’s airbag of the Discovery to bottom out in the frontal offset test while the driver’s door was unlatched during the side barrier test. The Land Rover Discovery scored 90 percent for Adult protection; 80 percent for Child protection; 75 percent for Pedestrian protection; and 73 percent Safety Assist technologies.

Meanwhile, the Citroen C3 supermin almost earned a five-star rating from Euro NCAP, and had to settle for four stars instead, no thanks to quite a dismal performance in the area of Pedestrian protection (59 percent). Other scores of the Citroen C3 are: 88 percent for Adult protection; 83 percent for Child protection; and 58 percent for Safety Assist technologies.

Three stars are the best that the Fiat 500 and the Ford Ka+ -- both considered as superminis -- could earn from the latest round of safety testing from Euro NCAP. The Ford Ka+ earned 73 percent for Adult protection; 61 percent for Child protection; 57 percent for Pedestrian protection; and 29 percent Safety Assist technologies. On the other hand, the Fiat 500 scored 66 percent for Adult protection; 49 percent for Child protection; 53 percent for Pedestrian protection; and 27 percent Safety Assist technologies. Euro NCAP noted that the Fiat 500 and the Ford Ka+ both lack rear seatbelt pretensioners and load-limiters. Both also lack autonomous braking technology. The Fiat 500 showed poor protection for both the driver and the rear seat passenger during the full-width frontal crash test while the Ka+ displayed poor chest protection.

Press Release

FIAT AND FORD FALL SHORT OF RIVALS’ SAFETY RATINGS

Today, Euro NCAP releases the results of six new cars. The Audi Q5, Land Rover Discovery and Toyota C-HR all get a top five-star safety rating; Citroën’s C3 gets four stars; and FIAT’s ageing 500 and Ford’s brand new Ka+ notched up three out of five stars apiece.

The new Audi Q5 and Toyota C-HR showed good all-round performance in all areas of assessment to earn their five-star ratings. The Land Rover Discovery scored highly enough to merit a five-star rating, but not without problems. In the frontal offset test, the driver airbag bottomed out owing to insufficient pressure and, in the side barrier test, the driver’s door became unlatched.

Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen, said, “Jaguar Land Rover has an ambitious programme of new model releases in the coming years. We hope that this challenging schedule and tight development times do not compromise the safety of the vehicles offered, and we hope that they will take our findings onboard”.

Still going strong more than 10 years after it first hit markets, FIAT’s reincarnation of the iconic 500 continues to be a popular choice in the supermini segment. Euro NCAP tested the recent facelift against the latest safety rules and benchmarked its performance with two newcomers in the same segment, the all-new Citroën C3 and the low-cost Ford Ka+. Superminis are extremely popular in the European new car market and the segment is very price-sensitive. To deliver attractive yet affordable cars, manufacturers are tempted to cut down on safety equipment, emphasising great looks and style instead. Case in point are the FIAT 500 and the Ford Ka+ that lack rear seatbelt pretensioners and load-limiters, by now standard on most cars on the market.

In the full-width frontal crash test, introduced in 2015, the 500 showed poor protection of both the driver and the rear seat passenger. In the Ka+, chest protection was rated as poor. Both cars also lack autonomous braking technology, already offered on half of new models today. The Citroën C3 on the other hand performed much more robustly: it narrowly missed a top five-star rating, falling only just short of the threshold in pedestrian protection.

Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen, said, “The 500 is an old car by now and the small improvements that FIAT have made on the facelift don’t hide that. Consumers may be better off waiting for the all-new 500 and hope that FIAT will take the opportunity to offer a vehicle that competes on safety with its competitors, as the original did 10 years ago. Unfortunately, high hopes for the segment are smashed by Ford by releasing a brand new Ka+ with mediocre safety performance. The car lacks the more sophisticated restraint systems offered by most of its rivals, let alone more sophisticated technology like autonomous braking. The new C3 shows that a respectful rating is achievable also for superminis.”

Detailed results and crash test pictures of these cars are published on our website. All videos are available on our YouTube channel. For media requests, please contact Marie Brasseur at media@euroncap.com. More safety ratings will be released on April 12, 2017.

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