Tesla’s Model 3 was singled out for special praise as it lined up alongside Mercedes-Benz’s B-Class and GLE-Class and Skoda’s Skala in achieving a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, which conducts the safety tests at its Bedford facility, said that the California-built electric vehicle (EV) had “achieved one of the highest Safety Assist scores we have seen to date”.
And while the new Kia Ceed and DS Automobiles DS 3 Crossback only achieved five-star rating when equipped with an optional ‘safety pack’ the Tesla was praised for its safety enhancing autonomous technology.
Avery said: “Its Collision Avoidance Assist system is first class, with its Autonomous Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Warning systems showing high levels of performance.
“Tesla has done a great job of playing the structural benefits of an electric vehicle to its advantage. Impact performance is enhanced by the absence of a mechanical engine and the car’s low centre of gravity. The Tesla Model 3 really benefits from its all electric-architecture.”
Thatcham commended the Tesla Model 3 for its Adult Occupant protection (96%), Child Occupant protection (86%) and Vulnerable Road Users (74%) scores.
Among its standard proximity alert and driver assistance systems, as standard, are a Speed Assistance System, Lane Departure Avoidance and Blind Spot Collision Warning.
Tesla’s AutoPilot system was not assessed by Euro NCAP. However, Euro NCAP and Thatcham Research will rate such systems in a separate programme set to launch in 2020.
Avery said: “Tesla has made a virtue of safety in its marketing and it is great to see a car now living up to that promise.
“It would be exciting if Tesla delivered the same benefits for drivers of older models via over-the-air updates.”
Škoda’s new Scala hatchback – its replacement for the Rapid, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March – emerged as another star performer in the latest round of Euro NCAP safety testing.
It is the first Škoda to be equipped with Lane Assist and AEB as standard and achieved high scores for Adult Occupant protection (97%), Child Occupant protection (87%), Vulnerable Road Users (81%) and Safety Assist (76%), making it one of the safest vehicles in the small family car category.
Avery said: “Škoda consistently produce cars with high standards of safety and do so at a low price point compared to other manufacturers.
“The Škoda Scala shows strong performance across the board – rating highly on passive and active safety protection. And at a starting price point of £15,750, you don’t have to pay the earth to get five-star safety.”
The Mercedes-Benz B Class and Mercedes-Benz GLE also achieved five-star Euro NCAP safety ratings.
Thatcham noted that both vehicles came equipped with AEB Pedestrian and AEB Cyclist fitted as standard, as well as speed assistance and lane assist technology to maximise safety.
Every Mercedes-Benz car launched since 2014 have achieved five-star ratings, it confirmed.