The new Audi A4, which went on sale on March 1, has been awarded the coveted four star rating in the latest phase of the Euro NCAP crash tests.
The result was achieved through high rankings in the side crash and pole impact categories and good performance in the frontal crash simulation.
However, the car scored just one point in the pedestrian safety test.
Euro NCAP concluded: "The A4 has a strong passenger compartment that protects the occupants from the outside. The airbag systems also worked very well for the front seat occupants in front or side impacts and the heads of the rear occupants in side impact. This is a safe car which deserves its four star rating.
"It is a pity though that these virtues are not matched by the protection offered for children and pedestrians. For children the dangers from the passenger's frontal airbag are not adequately explained and pedestrian protection has been ignored."
Alongside the new A4 in Euro NCAP's luxury car category is the BMW 3-series which when tested in 1997 scored 1 1/2 points for front and side impact resistance and two for pedestrian safety, the Honda Accord 1.8i LS in 1999 which scored four and two points and the Mercedes C-class which scored two points in each category in 1997.