Our best car safety 2013 award goes to a car that represents the biggest step forward in this area over the last 12 months - the Volkswagen Up.
Small cars aren’t short of safety equipment these days; anti-lock brakes and airbags are standard on even the smallest, cheapest city cars. There is still room for innovation, though, which is why Volkswagen wins our Safety Award for the City Emergency Braking system on its new Up.
At low speeds, this useful feature watches the road ahead and applies emergency braking if it feels you’re about to drive into the car in front. We’ve tried it in one of the Up’s sister cars, the Seat Mii, and it works well, either stopping the car completely by itself or providing assistance if it thinks you’ve hit the brakes too late. Here is a ‘big-car’ option being offered on something much smaller for just £225 (on most models).
It’ll really come into its own in the Up’s target environment – the city – and it works. We’re astonished and impressed that VW can offer it at this money.