The rate in which safety technology is improving these days is simply staggering, and it’s the job of Euro NCAP to provide the benchmark test to enable cars to be compared with each other. 

Founded in 1997 by the Transport Research Laboratory for the Department for Transport, and backed by several European governments, as well as by the EU, Euro NCAP has become a catalyst for encouraging safety improvements in new-car designs.

Manufacturers are not legally obliged to put their vehicles through these tests; however, most choose to do so, and the tests are constantly evolving as new technology is factored in. 

Euro NCAP introduced the overall safety rating in 2009, based on assessments in four important areas: adult protection (for the driver and passenger); child protection; pedestrian protection and safety assist technologies. More stringent testing processes were put in place in 2017, making it harder for cars to achieve the coveted five-star mark, with more changes planned for 2018. 

Here, we’ve taken a look at the results from January to November to find out which cars scored best so far in 2017. 

1. Volvo XC60 

Adult protection 98%

Child protection 87%

Pedestrian protection 76%

Safety assistance technology 95%

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It’s not really surprising to see a Volvo at the top of the pack here. The Swedish carmaker set its stall out early in terms of safety, and has been a pioneer for many years when it comes to introducing innovations.

This latest XC60, launched only a few months ago, comes with three new technologies as standard. The first is City Safety with steering assist, which automatically provides steering input in an emergency to help avoid potential collisions at 31-62mph. The second is oncoming lane mitigation, which senses if the car has moved out of its lane and into the path of an oncoming car, and will steer the car safely back into the lane. The final system is blind-spot monitoring with steering assist that will automatically apply the steering, and place the car back into its lane to avoid a car in the driver’s blind spot.

2. Volkswagen Arteon

Adult protection 96%

Child protection 85%

Pedestrian protection 85%

Safety assistance technology 82%


Volkswagen’s new flagship car replaces the rather unpopular CC, and heads into more premium territory aimed at competing with the likes of the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. 

Officially going on sale this September, the Arteon is far from cheap, with prices starting from £34,305. However, it comes with a whole host of kit as standard, including sat-nav, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and heated leather seats. 

All Arteon models are also equipped with a whole host of safety kit including city emergency braking, speed assist, traffic jam assist, lane assist and a driver fatigue warning system as standard. They all also come fitted with next-generation adaptive cruise control that uses GPS-based road data to automatically adjust the car’s speed. 

3. Volvo S90/V90 

Adult protection 95%

Child protection 80%

Pedestrian protection 76%

Safety assistance technology 93%

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Another Volvo manages to make it into the top three here, and the estate and saloon versions of the Swedish company’s flagship car prove to be head and shoulders ahead of rivals in terms of safety. 

The safety assistance technology score here is particularly impressive, as Volvo includes a lot of advanced tech as standard on all its high-end models, including pilot assist. This clever piece of technology essentially takes familiar safety features like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist and brings them together, while adding steering assist into the mix to allow the car to almost drive itself. 

During the test, both cars performed particularly well in the autonomous emergency braking tests too, thanks to the advanced City Safety system, which is also standard in all new Volvo cars. 

4. Volkswagen T-Roc

Adult protection 96%

Child protection 87%

Pedestrian protection 79%

Safety assistance technology 71%


One of the most important cars to be launched by Volkswagen over the past few years is the new T-Roc, which enters one of the few markets still in growth in the UK.

Only going on sale this month, we will have to wait until next year to find out what the car buyer verdict is on the new T-Roc. It’s safety rating, however, is clear to see.  

The new compact SUV scored particularly well for driver and child protection, while numerous standard safety features helped keep the driving assistance score high, too. 

Standard fit on all T-Roc vehicles include automatic post-collision braking, a lane-keeping assistant, front assist with pedestrian monitoring and city emergency braking, while many other features, like adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring, are available as an option. A traffic jam assist system will also be available from early 2018.

5. Toyota CH-R

Adult protection 95%

Child protection 77%

Pedestrian protection 76%

Safety assistance technology 78%

Toyota class=

Toyota’s eye-catching new CH-R has won many accolades since going on sale last year, and it’s not just the car’s quirky looks that are grabbing attention. 

The new car is also one of the few in the sector to be offered with a hybrid powertrain, meaning lower BIK
tax bills. 

Offering something a bit different from conventional rivals like the Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai, the firm’s safety sense package is also included as standard on all versions and includes lane-departure warning, a pre-collision system with autonomous braking and pedestrian recognition, traffic sign recognition and an automatic high beam that helps to improve visibility at night. 

Moving up the trim levels also means more driver aids become available like blind-spot monitoring and lane-change assistance.

6. Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 

Adult protection 93%

Child protection 85%

Pedestrian protection 78%

Safety assistance technology 69%


Arguably one of the best Vauxhalls to roll off the production line for a number of years, the new Insignia Grand Sport is not only more desirable, upmarket and technologically advanced than the outgoing car, but is also much
safer, too. 

Standard on all cars is Vauxhall’s OnStar concierge service, which can contact the emergency services automatically following a crash if the driver is unresponsive, or can send directions to a destination directly to your sat-nav.

A front camera system is also available that adds adaptive cruise control, lane- keeping aids and collision-mitigation technology to the mix. Meanwhile, the pop-up bonnet and emergency braking system proved particularly effective during the pedestrian protection part of the test.

7. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 

Adult protection 97%

Child protection 78%

Pedestrian protection 80%

Safety assistance technology 71%

Mitsubishi Eclipse class=

The new Eclipse Cross from Mitsubishi has only just started being shipped to the UK and isn’t set to go on sale until early next year, however the Japanese carmaker has confirmed it will cost from £21,275.

Mitsubishi’s new SUV will sit somewhere between the recently revised ASX and the much larger Outlander. This will put it up against some very capable rivals, including the Nissan Qashqai, Seat Ateca, Peugeot 3008 and the Ford Kuga.

A 97% score in adult protection is about as good as it gets, while strong scoring in the other elements means a very impressive overall rating for the new SUV. 

Furthermore, the new forward collision mitigation system demonstrated good performance, with collisions avoided in all test scenarios and at all speeds.

8. Range Rover Velar

Adult protection 93%

Child protection 85%

Pedestrian protection 74%

Safety assistance technology 72%


Sitting between the Evoque and Sport in the firm’s line-up, the Velar is the fourth model in the current-generation Range Rover family, and rivals the BMW X6, Porsche Macan and its sister car the Jaguar F-Pace.

Setting new standards in design, connectivity and interior luxury when it was unveiled to the world in March, the new Velar also features a suite of advanced safety technology, including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with a queue-assist function and reverse traffic detection, which uses radar to monitor vehicles approaching from either side
when reversing.

Scoring well across the board, other safety innovations include a lane-keeping aid, driver condition monitor and a traffic-sign recognition tool. 

9. Volkswagen Polo

Adult protection 96%

Child protection 85%

Pedestrian protection 76%

Safety assistance technology 59%


It’s been quite a year for Volkswagen, with a number of key models either revised or completely relaunched
during 2017. 

One of the big milestones was the launch of the new Polo supermini, a car that is now in its sixth-generation. 

It’s the roomiest Polo to date, with a wheelbase that is 92mm longer than its predecessor and a 25% bigger boot, alongside a more luxurious cabin showcasing modern tech that filters down from its Passat and Golf stablemates.

Safety equipment like emergency braking with a new pedestrian-monitoring function, blind-spot monitoring and a front assist system to help when pulling out of junctions or parking spaces if visibility is restricted, are also introduced to the Polo range for the first time. These help to secure the Polo’s impressive Euro NCAP score.

10. Nissan Micra

Adult protection 91%

Child protection 79%

Pedestrian protection 79%

Safety assistance technology 72%

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Launching earlier in the year, the fifth-generation Micra is bigger, better equipped and more luxurious than before, and has proved incredibly successful so far in 2017.  

Every Micra is fitted with intelligent emergency braking (IEB), a driving technology that can detect a slowing or stopping vehicle ahead and automatically apply the brakes. Also standard across the range is pedestrian recognition technology, which is linked to IEB, and lane-departure warning,which will also steer the car back into lane autonomously if needed – quite a rarity in this segment. 

Initially, these new bits of safety kit formed part of an option pack. However, after the standard car received only four stars in its round of EuroNCAP tests, Nissan upgraded the standard specification and was able to achieve this impressive overall score.