EuroNCAP is a crash test organisation which puts all of the latest car models to the test.
It tests frontal impact, side impact, and rear impact and see how these factors damage the vehicle and the occupants in the car itself. Each model is given a star rating out of five depending on damage to the driver, passengers, pedestrians and Electronic stability.
Over the years car manufactures have made many improvements to make car crashes a little less “painful” by use of air bags, stronger passenger compartments, head restraints and safer bumpers.
For example in 2010Alfa Romeo Giuliettascored a five star rating with EuroNCAP.
The Giulietta hatchback scored maximum points in the side barrier impact; left the driver and its passengers relatively unharmed and scored an average of 83 per cent across all four safety categories.
Now compared to other older models such as the 1997 Rover 100, the Giulietta is a godsend.
Although the Rover 100 was put through different safety test, easier ones may I add, it still only managed to score one out of five in the adult occupant safety rating.
The Rover suffered excessive deformation of the passenger compartment in the frontal impact and the driver’s door split apart. Following this impact, the driver’s door could only be opened using tools. The steering wheel was also pushed back by an excessive 312mm, making this car quite the opposite to the Giulietta and relative to today’s cars, a death trap.
This monstrosity was due to the Rover’s lack of side air bags, side head air bags, driver knee air bags, Front seatbelt pretensioners and Front seatbelt load limiters.
Okay the Rover 100 is thirteen years older than the Giulietta and never designed to withstand the EuroNCAP tests. Other manufacturers withheld older cars and overall the Rover 100 was probably no worse than similar cars of its age.
The 2010 Landwind CV9 was put through the same frontal, side and rear impact tests and yet earned a disappointing, and life threatening, safety average of 35 per cent.
The Landwind’s passenger compartment was deemed to be unstable, the steering rack was pushed rearwards during the frontal test, and three of the doors were seen to have opened during the impact due to weak springs in the door latches.
Tests such as side impact and whiplash where not even carried out due to the CV9 having no head protection whatsoever and the seats being so damaged from the original front impact test that the whiplash test was unable to be carried out.
The CV9 is not currently available in Europe which may explain its lack of safety. This goes to show that depending on the region of the car, depends on certain up to date safety features.
This lack of safety is also evident with the Toyota Urban Cruiser which earned a rather low average safety rating of 67 per cent with its adult occupant percentage falling below 60 cent when it was tested in 2009. The Toyota is also available to buy in Europe.
This proves that even cars available in Europe are not fully equipped when it come to safety and maybe the type of safety is based more upon the manufacturer themselves instead of whether or not it is available in Europe.
If you are looking for car safety then EuroNCAP has displayed a pretty clear example of what type of cars you should be looking for.
For a full explanation of the EuroNCAP safety tests, read our guide to EuroNCAP.