26 Oct 2011
Euro NCAP: The results for twelve new vehicles including five stars for a pick up are announced
This month’s top scorers with five stars are the Audi Q3, BMW 1 series, Chevrolet Captiva, Fiat Freemont, Ford Ranger, Hyundai Veloster, Mercedes M-Class, Opel/Vauxhall Astra and Opel/Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, Lancia Thema and Toyota Yaris. The Lancia Voyager was awarded four stars.
The most remarkable result this month is the Ford Ranger, the first pickup to achieve a five star rating, with impressive scores in all areas of Euro NCAP’s assessments. This third generation model was designed and engineered by Ford Australia and marks a significant improvement over the 2 star adult occupant rating of the previous Ranger in 2008. In particular, the Ranger’s 81% pedestrian score is the highest score recorded for pick-ups tested by Euro NCAP so far and therefore sets a new standard in this area. This performance is the result of a softer and well-engineered front end, absorbing the impact energy and better protecting pedestrians.
Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP Secretary General, said: ‘With such pedestrian protection the Ford Ranger is undoubtedly raising the bar of safety in the category of pick-up trucks, which had until now not proven to be the safest.’
Other vehicles that obtained good scores for pedestrian protection include the BMW 1 Series, the Mercedes M-Class and the Toyota Yaris, all scoring more than 60% of available points, the lower limit that Euro NCAP will set for a five star rating from 2012 onwards. The BMW 1 Series is fitted with the Assist Advanced eCall, an automatic emergency call system rewarded under Euro NCAP Advanced.
In this latest set of results, the Fiat Freemont, the Mercedes M-Class, the Lancia Thema and Voyager are equipped with active bonnets in order to improve pedestrian protection. On these cars, sensors detect when a pedestrian has been struck and actuators lift the bonnet to provide greater clearance to hard structures underneath. Although it is encouraging that some manufacturers invest in high-tech measures to protect pedestrians, there still is room for further improvement.
The Lancia Thema, Lancia Voyager and Fiat Freemont are the first three tangible results of Chrysler’s take-over by Italian automobile manufacturer Fiat. The Lancia Thema saloon gained overall 5 stars, whereas the new Voyager received 4 stars. Previously tested in 2007 under the Chrysler Voyager, the new Voyager is offering better safety but the town and country minivan is still lagging behind with 79% in adult protection and 67% in child occupant protection. On the up side, the minivan also demonstrated promising progress compared to the results of 2007 when the previous generation model scored no points and was awarded no stars for the protection it offered to pedestrians. Finally, the Fiat Freemont, a seven-seat MPV built on the Dodge Journey, also achieved Euro NCAP 5 star overall rating.