Ford Focus is the safest family car in the UK

It’s official; the Ford Focus is the safest small family car on the road but the Dacia Duster was the new car with the poorest safety score in 2011.

EuroNCAP, the organisation responsible for crash testing all new cars on the market, have named the Ford Focus as the ‘top achiever’ in its crash tests for 2011.

The hatchback, launched early in 2011, achieved a high score in various different crash scenarios including front, side and pole-impact crashes.

Its ratings in terms of protecting adults, children and pedestrians and its safety equipment ensured it was named as the safest small family car tested in 2011.

The Ford scored a near-perfect 92 per cent in adult occupant safety, 82 per cent in child safety and 71 per cent for its safety assist technology.

In the pedestrian safety test, designed to test how dangerous it is if the car strikes a pedestrian, the Focus scored 72 per cent, one of only a handful of cars to score over 60 per cent.

This is a significant figure because, from 2012, all new cars will need to beat 60 per cent to be in with a chance of gaining a five-star rating from Euro NCAP.

The new Ford Focus, available now from Ford dealerships from £14,000, was given a five-star safety rating in the tests.

However, the Dacia Duster, the all-new SUV set to be launched this year, was the worst performer out of all 53 cars tested in 2011 with a score of just three stars.

Another winner of the ‘top achiever’ award was the Chevrolet Aveo, which topped the competitive supermini category.

The Audi Q3 won the 4×4 off-road category and the Mercedes B-Class and Volvo V60 were also named on the list.

The likes of the Chevrolet Malibu and Vauxhall Zafira Tourer were named as runners-up in their respective categories, while the Ford Ranger pickup truck was given a special mention for being the safest ever pickup truck tested by EuroNCAP.