Ford Mustang given disappointing two-star safety rating by Euro NCAP

Ford's sports coupΓ© criticised for offering poor crash protection and limited safety equipment, but new Volvo S90 and V90 both score highly

Words By Darren Moss

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Ford Mustang Euro NCAP crash test

Independent crash test body Euro NCAP has awarded the Ford Mustang just two stars out of five for safety – the lowest mark given to a car from a mainstream manufacturer since 2008.

Explaining its rating, Euro NCAP pointed to airbags inflating insufficiently, seatbelts allowing rear passengers to slide under them, and the head of a child-size dummy hitting the interior of the Mustang during testing.

Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham, which works with Euro NCAP in the UK and also helps judge What Car?'s annual Safety Award, said: "We have concerns about the Mustang's crash protection of adults and children, which also make it unsuitable for carrying rear passengers. Plus, it does not have basic life-saving technology such as automatic emergency braking [AEB] which is even available on Ford's Fiesta."

Most concerning, according to Avery, is that "Ford has made a deliberate choice. The car has been designed to score well in less wide-ranging US safety tests, and only minor updates have been made to meet required European (pedestrian) safety regulations."

In those US tests, conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Mustang scored a full five stars. However, US cars get a forward collision warning system as part of an optional safety pack, even though AEB and lane departure warning systems still aren't available.

In a statement, Euro NCAP said: "Ford did not expect Euro NCAP to test the Mustang and chose not to fit safety technology in Europe which is available to its American customers. Such an attitude to safety should trouble Ford's customers, whether they are buying a high-powered muscle car [such as the Mustang] or a regular family car."

Ford responds with facelifted Mustang

A Ford spokesman told What Car? "the Mustang is a safe car, meeting or exceeding all applicable safety standards globally". However, the spokesman confirmed that a facelfifted version, which is set to go on sale in September, will be available with AEB with pedestrian detection and lane keeping assistance. What Ford is yet to confirm is whether that equipment will be standard.

Euro NCAP says it will be testing the facelifted Mustang once it's available in Europe.

Volvo S90 and V90 set new benchmark

In contrast to the Mustang, Volvo's S90 executive saloon and V90 estate have both been awarded the maximum five stars and are the safest cars ever assessed by Euro NCAP.

Those results mean that the top three cars in the history of Euro NCAP are all Volvos, with the S90 and V90 joining the XC90 SUV.

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Full 2017 Euro NCAP results

Ford Mustang

Adult occupant: 72%

Child occupant: 32%

Pedestrian: 64%

Safety assist: 16%

Overall rating: 2 stars

Volvo S90

Adult occupant: 95%

Child occupant: 80%

Pedestrian: 76%

Safety assist: 93%

Overall rating: 5 stars

Volvo V90

Adult occupant: 95%

Child occupant: 80%

Pedestrian: 76%

Safety assist: 93%

Overall rating: 5 stars

The safest 5-star cars >

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