Eleven new models have gained the maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating this month.
October’s top scorers with five stars are the Audi Q3, BMW 1 series, Chevrolet Captiva, Fiat Freemont, Ford Ranger, Hyundai Veloster, Mercedes M-Class, Vauxhall Astra and Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, Lancia Thema and Toyota Yaris. The Lancia Voyager was awarded four stars.
Euro NCAP said the most remarkable result was the Ford Ranger which is the first pickup to achieve a five star rating.
This third generation model was designed and engineered by Ford Australia and marks a significant improvement over the two 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.
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 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 five stars, whereas the new Voyager received four 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 based on the Dodge Journey, also achieved Euro NCAP five star overall rating.