Euro NCAP has released safety ratings based in its new scoring method for six new cars.
Small cars shine in safety tests
The top scorers with five-star results were the Audi Q5, Honda Jazz, Hyundai i20, Kia Soul and Peugeot 3008.
Both Q5 and Jazz are sold locally. The Soul's launch is imminent, i20 will be available within two months and the 3008 arrives in South Africa in the first quarter of next year.
The Suzuki Alto, which will be launched here in the second half of 2009, scored three stars.
New testing procedure
Euro NCAP's new rating covers adult and child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and - the new area of assessment - safety assist.
The assessment includes the previous tests and adds rear impact (whiplash) tests. The availability of electronic stability control and speed limitation devices are also considered.
The car's performance in each of the main categories is considered and weighted and vehicles are then given a single overall score from one to five stars.
'Size shouldn't stand in the way of safety'
According to the safety agency, the Alto's rating was limited by its
performance in the adult and child occupant protection and
safety assistance categories.
Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP says ‘At the heart of the new Rating Scheme is the objective to offer consumers a full picture of a car’s overall safety performance.
"Many claim that the weight and size of a car is the only criteria for safety. We believe that there are other aspects of safety that are just as important.
"The smaller cars we tested whose results are released today show that size should not stand in the way of all-round safety."