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What are the safest cars on sale today?

We take a look at the cars that have earned five stars on Euro NCAP's safety tests since 2013 – if you're buying a new car, you need to see this first

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The safest cars on sale today

New cars are getting safer all the time. In fact, the number of deaths on UK roads has halved since 1997, and a large part of that success is down to Euro NCAP. Formed in 1996, the European New Car Assessment Programme crash tests every new car on sale in the UK – and awards a star rating based on the four areas it tests. Those tests are for adult occupant, child occupant and pedestrian protection, and for safety assistance systems.

The tests have evolved over time, as safety technology has increased. In 2003, the group introduced new ratings for child protection, and in 2009 pedestrian protection was added to the assessment. One of the most significant changes came in 2014, when Euro NCAP started to test crash-avoidance systems, and in particular Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB).

For 2016, Euro NCAP changed the criteria of its tests so that cars can be given two ratings – one is for the car with its standard list of equipment, and the other is for variants which have additional safety equipment. At the 2017 What Car? Car of the Year Awards, we named the Toyota Prius as the winner of our Safety Award, with the VW Tiguan and Peugeot 3008 both highly commended.

So, what are the safest cars on sale today? Below, we've listed every new car that currently has a five-star rating from Euro NCAP since 2013. We've also indicated which cars receive a five-star rating only when equipped with an optional pack.

A car's absence from this list does not imply that it is unsafe; it may have been launched before 2013, or may not have been tested yet. We've also shown you every car's percentage score for each of Euro NCAP's tests.

Read more - how Euro NCAP crash tests save lives

Click on the name of any car to read its full What Car? review.

The safest cars in the UK – 2013-17

2017

Volvo S90

Adult protection: 95%; child protection: 80%; pedestrian protection: 76%; safety systems: 93%


Volvo V90

Adult protection: 95%; child protection: 80%; pedestrian protection: 76%; safety systems: 93%

2016

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Adult protection: 98%; child protection: 81%; pedestrian protection: 69%; safety systems: 60%


Audi Q2

Adult protection: 93%; child protection: 86%; pedestrian protection: 70%; safety systems: 70%


Ford Edge

Adult protection: 85%; child protection: 76%; pedestrian protection: 67%; safety systems: 89%


Hyundai Ioniq

Adult protection: 91%; child protection: 80%; pedestrian protection: 70%; safety systems: 82%


Kia Niro (with safety pack)

Adult protection: 91%; child protection: 80%; pedestrian protection: 70%; safety systems: 81%


Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Adult protection: 95%; child protection: 90%; pedestrian protection: 77%; safety systems: 62%


Peugeot 3008

Adult protection: 86%; child protection: 85%; pedestrian protection: 67%; safety systems: 58%


Renault Scenic

Adult protection: 90%; child protection: 82%; pedestrian protection: 67%; safety systems: 59%


Seat Ateca

Adult protection: 93%; child protection: 84%; pedestrian protection: 71%; safety systems: 60%


Subaru Levorg

Adult protection: 92%; child protection: 83%; pedestrian protection: 75%; safety systems: 68%


Suzuki Ignis (with safety pack)

Adult protection: 87%; child protection: 79%; pedestrian protection: 77%; safety systems: 60%


Toyota Hilux (with safety pack)

Adult protection: 93%; child protection: 82%; pedestrian protection: 83%; safety systems: 63%


Toyota Prius

Adult protection: 92%; child protection: 82%; pedestrian protection: 77%; safety systems: 85%


Volkswagen Tiguan

Adult protection: 96%; child protection: 84%; pedestrian protection: 72%; safety systems: 68%

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