Three cars that scored five stars in NCAP’s safety testing have scored poorly in a whiplash test devised by Thatcham.

The Citroen C5, Ford‘s Kuga and the Peugeot 308CC all picked up a ‘poor’ rating in the test, despite being awarded top marks by NCAP for adult protection.

Thatcham developed the tests together with NCAP and they will be included in NCAP’s rigorous new testing procedures that start from February.

These scores will not affect the featured cars’ existing NCAP scores.

Volvo‘s XC60 came out as the best performer of those tested, with a score of 3.54 out of four. Fleet favourites featured strongly at the top of the chart. The Alfa Mito, VW‘s new Golf, the Audi A4 and the Vauxhall Insignia completed the top five.

Each car’s seats were subjected to three tests, two at low speeds and one at high speed.

According to the Association of British Insurers there were 430,000 claims of whiplash in 2007, costing insurance companies a total of £1.9billion.

Euro NCAP is changing its car safety rating to a single five-star system that includes scores for child and pedestrian protection, and adult occupant protection.

Tests for technology such as anti-skid control will also be included, and a whiplash assessment will be part of the examination. The results for the first cars scored under the new system will be released in February 2009.