What’s the safest new car? Euro NCAP’s ‘Best in Class’ of 2018 revealed

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Author: | Updated: 13 Dec 2018 13:33

2018 was a busy year for new car launches, which in turn meant it was a very busy year for Euro NCAP too.

Most of the models tested in 2018 were new to the market, and an impressive amount of them achieved the maximum five-star rating which, considering Euro NCAP’s increasingly gruelling assessment process, reflects the improving safety standards of new cars. Others have a lot to improve on...


Star ratings cannot be compared directly between different categories of vehicles, so a ‘Best in Class’ is published showing which vehicles have performed better than their competitors.

As such, only three of the vehicles tested in 2018 have achieved the coveted award--

Small family car: Mercedes-Benz A Class

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Euro NCAP

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback scored some of the highest marks we’ve seen from Euro NCAP’s test, helping it take pole position in the 2018 ratings.

Looking at the full safety report, both adult and child occupants were well protected against various crash tests, and its autonomous systems regularly help prevent crashes in the first place.

Large family car and hybrid and electric: Lexus ES

Lexus ES Euro NCAP

As the first ES to go on sale in the UK and Europe, replacing the outgoing Lexus GS, this front-wheel drive hybrid was praised by Euro NCAP for its Automatic Emergency Braking systems in the car.

While the car did well in impact tests, it was marked down due to a side curtain airbag not deploying correctly. Despite this it edged out Volvo to take the segment title.

Large off-road: Hyundai Nexo

Hyundai NEXO Euro NCAP

Hyundai’s second generation of commercialised fuel cell electric vehicles demonstrated its high active and passive safety in all four categories and is the first FCEV to be awarded the maximum five-star overall rating by Euro NCAP.

All-new Nexo features the latest Hyundai SmartSense active safety and driving assistance technologies, helping to significantly lower the risk of collisions and increase comfort on board.

Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen said: “In 2018 we introduced tough new tests, with a particular focus on Vulnerable Road User protection.  The three Best in Class award winners this year all clearly demonstrate that car-makers are striving for the highest levels of protection.

“Euro NCAP put automated driving technology to the test in 2018 for the first time and our findings helped clarify some of the confusion motoring consumers are currently experiencing.  Assisted driving systems can bring safety and convenience benefits but full automation is a long way off. 

“In the meantime our assessment Road Map presents some important challenges for vehicle manufacturers in the years ahead and we hope that all car-makers will rise to this opportunity as Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Hyundai have done this year.”

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