The Mercedes A-Class has won What Car? Safety Award 2019 with Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40 completing the top three awarded models.
The Thatcham Research sponsored accolade was awarded to the Mercedes A-Class for its excellent performance across all judging categories.
It was the only car launched in 2018 to reach an overall Euro NCAP score of 90%, for both the protection it offers in the event of a crash and its crash avoidance technology
Its Driving Assistant Plus package was highlighted by Safety Award judges as one of the best available on the market.
Thatcham Research’s director of research, Matthew Avery, said: “The Mercedes A-Class was the year’s top performer in the world’s most exacting safety tests.
"It’s exciting to see one of 2018’s best-selling cars meet that challenge and shows that carmakers can deliver state-of-the-art safety for the mass market.”
What Car? editor, Steve Huntingford, said: "The annual What Car? Car of the Year Awards cover every type of car, but safety is the one category that's relevant to everyone. It's therefore particularly exciting to see this award won by a model that millions of British motorists can afford."
The second safest car of the year is the Audi Q3. Representing one of the fastest growing sectors in the market, the small SUV, the Audi Q3 has the second highest overall Euro NCAP score (87%) of the cars tested in 2018.
Avery said: “The Audi Q3 showed very good passive safety to protect its occupants should a collision occur.
"It also has the highest ‘Safety Assist’ score, that measures the car’s ability to avoid the crash in the first place. Audi has a strong track record in making safe cars and the Q3 is its safest yet.”
In third place was the Volvo XC40, which achieved the best Adult Occupant Protection score (97%) of any car tested in 2018.
“It’s easy to take Volvo’s safety record for granted,” said Avery.
“However, this is the first small SUV Volvo has produced and it not only delivers on safety but has also won several driver experience awards, including What Car? Car of the Year 2018.
"It scored maximum points in the side pole crash test, one of our most severe assessments. As a Volvo XC40 occupant, you are as safe as it’s possible to be in a car.
“The car’s ‘Pilot Assist’ system is also very good. It provides drivers with steering assistance and helps maintain a safe gap from the vehicle ahead.
"We found that it was well balanced, offering a good level of assistance while leaving the driver in no doubt that they are ultimately in control.”
Euro NCAP results for the Mercedes Benz A-Class:
- Adult Occupant Protection = 96%
- Child Occupant Protection = 91%
- Vulnerable Road Users = 92%
- Safety Assist = 75%
Euro NCAP results for the Audi Q3:
- Adult Occupant Protection = 95%
- Child Occupant Protection = 86%
- Vulnerable Road Users = 76%
- Safety Assist = 85%
Euro NCAP results for the Volvo XC40:
- Adult Occupant Protection = 97%
- Child Occupant Protection = 87%
- Vulnerable Road Users = 71%
- Safety Assist = 76%