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Thatcham Research praise Volvo XC60 after What Car? safety award

Volvo XC60

Euro NCAP safety testers have recognised Volvo's ability to "break new ground" with its safety technology after its XC60 SUV was declared the safest car ever made at What Car? Safety Awards.

The Volvo XC60 SUV impressed judges with its “unrivalled protection” and it’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), designed to avoid crashes occurring at all.

Key Volvo XC60 safety technologies include: AEB systems which operate at a variety of speeds and driving environments, and can detect pedestrians, cyclists and even large animals; a suite of Lane Support Systems to alert the driver when the car is drifting and actively steer to avoid head-on collisions; Blind Spot Indication Systems; Rear Cross Traffic Alerts; and a Run-Off Road system.

As a result, Euro NCAP awarded the Volvo XC60 a score of 95% for its safety assistance features.

Thatcham Research’s director of research and Safety Award judge, Matthew Avery, said: “The Volvo XC60 achieved a very high adult occupant protection score of 98%.

“But it is also bursting at the seams with safety technology to avoid the crash happening at all. It is so far ahead of the game that its innovative Cross Traffic Alert and Turn Across Path systems are not yet a part of the Euro NCAP programme.”

“This car has always broken new ground. In 2008 the original Volvo XC60 was the first to be launched with standard-fit AEB. Back then, it was a relatively basic system which functioned at low speeds, car-to-car.

"The AEB systems on the new XC60 can handle a full range of different driving speeds and environments and will also detect vulnerable road users and even large animals.”

The Volkswagen T-Roc and Subaru XV also came highly commended by the judges.

Avery said: “The Volkswagen T-Roc is a safety standard-bearer in the ever-growing small SUV segment.

“It’s AEB systems come as standard and performed exceedingly well in Euro NCAP testing.

"It also comes with Adaptive Cruise Control – a great comfort feature which helps drivers to keep a safe distance from the car in front – and a Lane Keep Assist system to gently steer a drifting car back into lane, both standard-fit.

“Volkswagen should be commended for the commitment to safety it has shown in 2017 – the Volkswagen Arteon was also in the running for safest car of the year, the Polo is a Euro NCAP best-in-class winner and it became the first van manufacturer to commit to fitting AEB on all new vehicles.”

“The Subaru XV was the other stand-out performer in 2017,” said Avery.

“It’s got a stereo camera-based AEB system, which is especially good at identifying pedestrians and cyclists, an effective Blind Spot Indication System and a Lane Keep Assist system – again, all fitted as standard to maximise their potential to reduce accident rates. Subaru is a smaller carmaker which has always found a way to prioritise safety, so it’s great to see those efforts commended.”

Thatcham Research is urging motorists to only purchase cars with AEB as standard, and has provided a list of top three tips.

They are as follows:

  1. Make sure it’s a five-star car: Head to Euro NCAP’s website and check the safety score of any car you’re considering. If it hasn’t earned a five-star rating, don’t buy it.
  2. Demand AEB: Understand whether the car has AEB as standard or as an option. If it’s not available, score that car off your list. If it’s only optional ask the dealer to fit it as part of the sale. If they won’t, take your business to one who will.
  3. Don’t be fobbed off: Dealers might downplay the importance of safety systems to sell you an in-stock car that doesn’t have them. Don’t be tempted by the instant option, insist on a car that has the kit you want.

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