Car Theft Group Test - Britain's Most Secure Cars
With car theft an ongoing problem, we tested seven car security systems to find out how easy it is to get into them and drive away without consent...
Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 140 ST-Line X - not stolen
Sleeping key fob inactive: Get into car Not possible Drive away Not possible
Sleeping key fob active: Get into car 40sec Drive away 20sec
The Fiesta comes with a ‘sleeping key fob’ with a motion sensor inside that makes it inactive when it hasn’t been moved for 40 seconds. The sleeping key fob prevented our thieves from getting into the car when it had been untouched for the specified time, but the moment it was moved, they were able to grab its code and open the car doors. The sleeping key fob has recently been made standard equipment on all new Fiesta and Focus models.
The company says these key fobs will be rolled out across the entire car and van range in due course. Owners of current Fiesta and Focus models can buy a new key fob for £62 and £72 respectively, plus 0.9 hours’ labour to program and test the key.
Alternatively, owners of the latest Ford models can disable the keyless entry function via the car’s steering wheel-mounted controls.
Land Rover Discovery SD6 306 HSE - not stolen
Get into car 20sec Drive away Not possible
Our thieves chose to use a lock picker to open the Discovery’s driver’s door, setting the car’s alarm off. And they weren’t able to start the engine, because the car was fitted with ultra-wide-band radio technology, which transmits over a wide range of frequencies at once to stop thieves from being able to pick up the signal.
Land Rover Discovery Sport TD4 180 HSE (2018 model) - stolen in 30sec
Get into car 10sec Drive away 20sec
We tested a second Land Rover model because Jaguar Land Rover hasn’t chosen to add ultra-wide-band radio technology to all of its models, and we don’t believe the Discovery Sport has this added security. As with the Discovery, our thieves used a lock picker to get into the Discovery Sport. They were then able to plug a device into the car’s onboard computer to get the necessary code to re up the engine via its push-button starter.
Land Rover declined to comment on our tests of the Discovery and Discovery Sport.
Mercedes A-Class A220 AMG Line - not stolen
Keyless-Go key fob inactive: Get into car Not possible Drive away Not possible
Keyless-Go key fob active: Get into car 30sec Drive away 20sec
The A-Class has a Keyless-Go keyless entry fob, which can either be deactivated immediately by pressing a button or will turn itself off when it’s been motionless for two minutes. We believe this technology would protect the car from theft when it’s parked on a driveway late at night. However, when the motion sensor hasn’t kicked in or the fob manually deactivated, the car could be stolen in less than one minute.
A spokesman for Mercedes said: “All our Keyless-Go keys can be switched off by pressing the locking button on the key twice and the latest generation of Keyless-Go keys are equipped with a built-in motion sensor. This means that if the key is motionless – for example, in a drawer or on a hook – after two minutes, no Keyless-Go signals are sent out and the signals from the key cannot be hijacked.”