The latest results from Euro NCAP, which is equivalent to the IIHS in North America, brings good news for some, and bad news for others.
The two vehicles tested by the European body are the new 2012 Honda Civic 5-door hatchback and the redesigned Jeep Compass crossover.
Starting with the good news, Honda's compact model was awarded the maximum five star rating, achieving high scores in all areas of assessment and putting it on a par with the top models in its category.
Euro NCAP said that the passenger compartment remained stable in the frontal impact while the car scored maximum points in the side barrier test. It also offered adequate protection in the more severe side pole impact, and scored top points for the protection it offered to pedestrians.
The facelifted Jeep Compass, on the other hand, achieved only two stars against the 2012 criteria, with the European body stating that it "underachieved" in most areas of Euro NCAP’s assessment.
According to the results, the compact SUV showed poor protection levels for passengers, particularly in the side pole test, while in pedestrian protection, it scored a "disappointing" 23 percent.
"Compact SUVs are the most popular sport-utility segment in Europe, but the Jeep Compass did not demonstrate itself as strong contender on safety in comparison to other tested competitors in the same category," Euro NCAP said in a statement.
Commenting on the latest results, Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP Secretary General, said:
"The results published today show clearly that a 5 star these days means a lot more than a 5 star some years ago. Many car makers have moved on and so have we. Cars based on older technology, brushed up and marketed as new are not providing the same levels as safety as the newest models developed against the new targets. Consumers interested in a fair comparison will not be fooled by these results."