Adult occupant protection was found to be particularly strong, with the Leaf given 93% in this area, but its 86% score for child occupant protection also betters those of most rival family hatchbacks.
The Leaf is the first car to be assessed by Euro NCAP in 2018, following changes designed to make its tests reflect a greater proportion of 'real-world' crashes. Additions include:
- An offset test of automatic emergency braking systems, where the car partially overlaps the point of impact
- A walking-in-road scenario and assessment of pedestrian protection during darkness
- Scenarios for collisions with cyclists both crossing and riding along the road
Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, which carries out Euro NCAP's testing in the UK, said: "Safety campaigners have raised concerns about noise, or rather the lack of it, in fully electrified vehicles [such as the Leaf] which is why standard-fit AEB systems that can detect vulnerable road users should be fundamental to any electric vehicle’s suite of safety technologies.
“Nissan has done a great job considering the additional challenges pure electric propulsion presents. And in none of the impact tests did we see any compromise of the battery."
Full Nissan Leaf Euro NCAP scores:
- Adult occupant protection 93%
- Child occupant protection 86%
- Pedestrian protection 71%
- Safety Assist 71%
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Top 10 family-friendly cars for safety
Safety standards have risen dramatically in recent years, but there are still sizeable differences between the best and worst cars. Below we count down the family-friendly models that received the 10 highest Euro NCAP scores prior to the introduction of the latest tests.
= 10. Land Rover Discovery
Total Euro NCAP score: 318
The new Land Rover Discovery is one of the best family SUVs you can buy, achieving a five-star What Car? rating as well as a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. It can genuinely seat seven adults and combines a fantastic, elevated driving position with a very comfortable ride, plus it's as capable off the road as it is on it.
= 10. Subaru Levorg
Total Euro NCAP score: 318 (out of 400)
This practical, four-wheel-drive estate car earned the same Euro NCAP score as the Discovery, but it's nowhere near as impressive in other areas: it's expensive to buy, the ride is poorly controlled and the interior feels cheap.
9. Audi Q2
Total Euro NCAP score: 319
Adults will feel a bit cramped in the back of Audi's smallest SUV, but children will be fine and the interior is beautifully finshed. The Q2 is great fun to drive, too, and it has a slightly higher overall safety score than the larger Audi Q5.
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