The safety gurus at the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP), an independent organization that assesses and scores vehicle safety, have released a new round of scores for 15 new models, many of which were presented at the recent Paris Motor Show.
With one exception, the new Dacia Lodgy minivan that Euro NCAP said "budgets on safety" as it was rated with a mediocre three stars out of five, all other cars tested were awarded five stars.
Euro NCAP criticized the Renault Group's decision to not offer the electronic stability control (ESC) as standard equipment on the Lodgy, while also noting that the Dacia model scored poorly for pedestrian and child protection.
Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, commented on the results of the Lodgy:
“It is disappointing to see the Lodgy do badly in our tests, especially coming just a week after the Sandero, branded a Renault in South America, was given a poor one star rating by Latin NCAP. The Lodgy is a budget vehicle and customers will accept compromises in comfort and performance, but not safety. Euro NCAP believes that occupants’ safety should be paramount, regardless of how much they pay for their vehicle.”
On the other side other of the spectrum, the Fiat 500L; Ford Fiesta; Ford Kuga; Hyundai Santa Fe; Mercedes-Benz A-Class; Mitsubishi Outlander; Opel Mokka; SEAT Leon; the Skoda Rapid and its twin sibling, the SEAT Toledo; Subaru Forester; the new Range Rover; Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid; and the new Volkswagen Golf MK7 were all awarded with a five-star rating.
Euro NCAP pointed out that, even though the new Range Rover did well, it was informed by Land Rover that it would soon be equipped with an improved head restraint to bring whiplash protection "in line with expectations for a car of this quality".
VW was praised by the organization for offering several advanced driver assistance technologies on the new Golf such as a Multi Collision Brake system, Front Assist and Proactive Occupant Protection as standard, though it did mention that the car misses out on a standard-fit rear seatbelt reminder.
Other vehicles equipped with standard driver assistance technologies are the Mercedes-Benz A-Class that gets Collision Prevention Assist and Attention Assist with PRE SAFE being offered as an option, and the facelifted Ford Fiesta that is fitted with MyKey, a programmable key system allowing certain safety-critical characteristics of the car to be tailored to particular drivers.