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Fiat and Ford superminis fall behind rivals in latest Euro NCAP ratings

Euro NCAP has released safety ratings for six new and facelifted cars, with Fiat and Ford models only awarded three stars.


Euro NCAP has released safety ratings for six new and facelifted cars.

While the Audi Q5, Land Rover Discovery and Toyota C-HR all scored a top five-star safety rating in the results, with four stars for the Citroën C3, Fiat’s facelifted 500 and Ford’s brand-new Ka+ were only given three stars each.

Euro NCAP highlighted how the 500 and Ka+ both lack rear seatbelt pretensioners and load-limiters, which are by now standard on most cars on the market. It added that both cars also lack autonomous braking technology, already offered on half of new models today.

In the full-width frontal crash test, introduced in 2015, the 500 showed poor protection of both the driver and the rear seat passenger. In the Ka+, chest protection was rated as poor.

In contrast, the Citroën C3 on the other hand performed much more robustly: it narrowly missed a top five-star rating, falling only just short of the threshold in pedestrian protection.

Euro NCAP’s secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen, said: “The 500 is an old car by now and the small improvements that FIAT have made on the facelift don’t hide that. Consumers may be better off waiting for the all-new 500 and hope that FIAT will take the opportunity to offer a vehicle that competes on safety with its competitors, as the original did 10 years ago. Unfortunately, high hopes for the segment are smashed by Ford by releasing a brand-new Ka+ with mediocre safety performance. The car lacks the more sophisticated restraint systems offered by most of its rivals, let alone more sophisticated technology like autonomous braking. The new C3 shows that a respectful rating is achievable also for superminis.”

Euro NCAP added that the new Audi Q5 and Toyota C-HR showed good all-round performance in all areas of assessment to earn their five-star ratings. The Land Rover Discovery scored highly enough to merit a five-star rating, but not without problems. In the frontal offset test, the driver airbag bottomed out owing to insufficient pressure and, in the side barrier test, the driver’s door became unlatched.

Euro NCAP’s Michiel van Ratingen added: “Jaguar Land Rover has an ambitious programme of new model releases in the coming years. We hope that this challenging schedule and tight development times do not compromise the safety of the vehicles offered, and we hope that they will take our findings onboard.”

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For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.