The safest 5-star cars 2019
Just because you value safety, doesn't mean you have to compromise on driver enjoyment or practicality. To help you choose the best and safest car we've rounded up the models that have both a fiv...
The safest 5-star cars 2018
If you're looking to buy a new car, then safety is probably a high priority, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for something that's badly compromised in other areas.
As well as gaining the full five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, the following models also have a five-star What Car? rating.
Choose any of them and you'll be getting a brilliant all-rounder that also happens to be one of the safest cars on the road. Here we've ranked them from least to most expensive.
Ford Fiesta/Fiesta ST
Adult occupant protection 87%, Child occupant protection 84% Pedestrian protection 64% Safety assist 60%
Price from £13,695
The Fiesta has long been the benchmark small car for driving fun, and the latest version continues that tradition, with the ST hot hatch particularly good. However, today’s Fiesta also offers a classier interior than its predecessor and swaps that car's fiddly, button-heavy infotainment system for a more user-friendly touchscreen.
Adult occupant protection 96% Child occupant protection 85% Pedestrian protection 76% Safety assist 59%
Price from £14,235
Volkswagen's Polo is similarly impressive, combining impressive interior quality, with great infotainment and a comfortable ride. Only its higher pricing counts against it.
Adult occupant protection 95% Child occupant protection 77% Pedestrian protection 76% Safety assist 60%
Price from £14,255
As good as the Fiesta and Polo are, it’s the Seat Ibiza that’s the best small car on the market, offering tidy handling, low running costs and a surprisingly spacious and practical interior. And while it has a higher list price than both its rivals, it looks very tempting after discounts are factored in.
Adult occupant protection 95% Child occupant protection 80% Pedestrian protection 77% Safety assist 60%
Price from £16,750
The Arona is based on the Ibiza, which is a great place to start, so it’s not surprising that it’s enjoyable to drive, roomier than most rivals and fairly affordable to own.
Adult occupant protection 93% Child occupant protection 86% Pedestrian protection 66% Safety assist 66%
Price from £17,700
This big family hatchback might look rather odd following its 2017 facelift. However, it makes up for that by being classy, comfortable and incredibly spacious. It also offers great value for money.
Adult occupant protection 94% Child occupant protection 89% Pedestrian protection 65% Safety assist 71%
Price from £18,340
Ask 10 people to name a family car and chances are most of them will mention the Volkswagen Golf. It's consistently among the most popular new cars sold in the UK, and with good reason: with a huge range of engines on offer – from frugal petrols through to diesels and even an electric variant – there's a model to suit everyone. It's also brilliant to drive and competitively priced.
Adult occupant protection 93% Child occupant protection 84% Pedestrian protection 71% Safety assist 60%
Price from £20,825
Before the Ateca, Seat had never built an SUV, but while the Spanish brand was undoubtedly very late to the party, it's made up for that with keen pricing, a spacious interior and class-leading handling.
Adult occupant protection 93% Child occupant protection 79% Pedestrian protection 73% Safety assist 58%
Price from £21,255
The Karoq is a brilliant family SUV that combines a smart and sturdy interior with attractive pricing and lots of standard kit. Although it's based on the same platform as the Volkswagen T-Roc and Seat Ateca, it's slightly bigger than the VW and has a more comfort-oriented ride than the Seat.
Skoda Superb/Superb Estate
Adult occupant protection 86% Child occupant protection 86% Pedestrian protection 71% Safety assist 76%
Price from £22,120
Skoda’s executive car more than lives up to its name, because it’s comfortable, well equipped and hugely spacious. We're big fans of both the hatchback and the estate.
Adult occupant protection 88% Child occupant protection 89% Pedestrian protection 71% Safety assist 76%
Price from £23,565
There are cheaper and bigger MPVs, but none that so brilliantly balance all the things that matter to big families. Crucially, the Touran is more practical than all of its similarly priced rivals, it's better to drive and beats them all hands-down for interior quality and ease of use. It also has better safety credentials than most.
Adult occupant protection 95% Child occupant protection 80% Pedestrian protection 78% Safety assist 59%
Price from £24,095
On the face of it, the fact that Mazda's largest SUV doesn't offer the option of seven seats puts it at a disadvantage. However, if you don't need to transport more than five people, it's one of the very best cars of its kind – it's comfortable, spacious and good to drive, and comes with a frugal diesel engine or sprightly petrol.
Adult occupant protection 86% Child occupant protection 85% Pedestrian protection 67% Safety assist 58%
Price from £27,270
Gone are the days when affordability and practicality were the only considerations when buying a seven-seater. Luxury, refinement and stylish looks are now just as important to most buyers, and Peugeot has embraced this trend; while its latest 5008 is every bit as practical as its boxy predecessor, it’s a lot more striking, inside and out.
Adult occupant protection 93% Child occupant protection 86% Pedestrian protection 71% Safety assist 71%
Price from £27,290
The electric car market is getting more competitive all the time, with the second-generation Leaf the current benchmark, thanks to its strong performance, increased range and roomier, more user-friendly interior.
Adult occupant protection 89% Child occupant protection 87% Pedestrian protection 75% Safety assist 75%
Price from £27,815
Until recently, we recommended the A4 with Audi’s super-smooth 3.0-litre diesel engine, but this is now available only with quattro four-wheel drive, which pushes up fuel consumption and company car tax bills. It’s fortunate, then, that the cheaper 2.0-litre diesel is also strong and refined, plus the A4 has a classier interior than rivals such as the BMW 3 Series, and is better at isolating you from wind and road noise.
Honda Civic Type R
Adult occupant protection 92% Child occupant protection 75% Pedestrian protection 75% Safety assist 88%
Price from £30,995
Honda’s latest Civic Type R offers awesome performance and precise handling, and yet it’s also a practical and comfortable everyday car. It’s why it won Hot Hatch of the Year at the 2018 What Car? Awards.
BMW 5 Series
Adult occupant protection 91% Child occupant protection 85% Pedestrian protection 81% Safety assist 59%
Price from £36,715
The BMW 5 Series was our overall Car of the Year in 2017, and our Luxury Car of the year in 2017 and 2018. It's a consummate all-rounder – brilliant to drive, comfortable and luxurious and spacious inside. Plus, its infotainment system is absolutely superb.
Adult occupant protection 93% Child occupant protection 84% Pedestrian protection 70% Safety assist 58%
Price from £39,120
Drivers will like the latest X3’s strong engines and top-notch handling, while passengers can enjoy the luxurious (and fairly spacious) interior. You also get BMW's brilliant iDrive infotainment and navigation system as standard.
Adult occupant protection 93% Child occupant protection 86% Pedestrian protection 73% Safety assist 58%
Price from £40,175
It may not be the sportiest of SUVs, but the latest Q5 is definitely one of the best. It's comfortable, spacious, refined and good to drive. Plus, the interior lives up to Audi's reputation, being both beautifully finished and easy to use.
Land Rover Discovery
Adult occupant protection 90% Child occupant protection 80% Pedestrian protection 75% Safety assist 73%
Price from £47,105
Much like its predecessor, the all-new Discovery is a whopping great seven-seater. And yet at the same time it's a big step forward: it’s suitably posh inside, great to drive and even pretty good value, undercutting the Audi Q7 by several thousands of pounds if you stick with the entry-level 2.0-litre diesel.
Adult occupant protection 94% Child occupant protection 88% Pedestrian protection 70% Safety assist 76%
Price from £51,425
Audi's biggest SUV is one of the most complete cars on sale. It's relaxing to drive, comfortable to sit in and beautifully built, while the 3.0-litre diesel version is also pretty efficient to run. Despite being a luxurious choice, the Q7 is also extremely practical, offering plenty of space for families and their luggage.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Adult occupant protection 98% Child occupant protection 81% Pedestrian protection 69% Safety assist 60%
Price from £61,625
Alfa Romeo’s answer to the BMW M3 performance saloon is not only more powerful but, crucially, more fun and engaging to drive.