Honda's new Civic 5-door has achieved the highest ever pedestrian protection rating in the latest European New Car Assessment Programme safety tests.
Built at the company's Swindon plant the Civic earned three stars for pedestrian safety and four out of five in the frontal and side impact tests.
Max Mosley, Euro NCAP chairman, said: “The Honda Civic has achieved a unique breakthrough in levels of pedestrian protection. For the first time in the history of Euro NCAP it's clear that a manufacturer has designed a car that genuinely balances the safety needs of both occupants and pedestrians.
He said the Civic “just fell short” of achieving a four star rating, achieving a 72% pedestrian score.
The Euro NCAP report on the Civic concluded: "Honda set out to do well in these tests and this has been achieved. The Civic's bumper gave a high degree of protection without compromising its performance. The front edge of the bonnet also showed its sound design. The bonnet hinges, latch design and wing mountings also incorporated measures to minimise impact forces. Its overall score took it close to earning a four-star rating.
"Honda can claim to be the first manufacturer to produce a design that protects pedestrians properly." The Mazda Premacy also scored a three star pedestrian safety rating earlier this year, with a score of 53%. It only scored three stars in the frontal and side impact tests.