OH DEAR, FORD: Volvo's S90 and V90 both scored a 5-star safety rating compared to Ford Mustang's 2 stars. Image: YouTube
Cae Town - Euro NCAP has released safety ratings for three cars on Wednesday (January 25); the Volvo S90 sedan and V90 estate both achieve the maximum of five stars, while Ford’s Mustang scores two.
Launched in 2016 - and this week in South Africa - the S90 and V90 are the latest additions to the Volvo Cars line-up and the first cars to be tested against Euro NCAP’s 2017 test regime, according to the NewsMarket.
Both models take advantage of the many advanced technologies of the XC90 and made a big impression in all areas of Euro NCAP’s assessment.
Standard-fit autonomous emergency braking for cars and pedestrians performed outstandingly well in Euro NCAP’s tests and the vehicles also offer lane and speed assistance, claims Euro NCAP. The S90 and V90 results surpass the best overall score of any model tested during 2016 and now make Euro NCAP’s top-3 best performing cars ever, all Volvo.
In contrast, Ford’s iconic muscle-car, the Mustang, has scored a two-star rating for overall safety, with concerns about its "crash protection of adult and child occupants and a worrying lack of safety equipment commonly available on the European market".
The results reveal the American "DNA" of the Mustang that is designed to score well in the less wide-ranging US consumer tests. The European variant has seen only those minor updates required to meet European (pedestrian) safety regulation and the Forward Collision Warning system was removed when it was introduced here.
In the frontal offset test, the airbags of both the driver and passenger inflated insufficiently to properly restrain the occupants. In the full-width frontal test, a lack of rear seatbelt pre-tensioners and load-limiters meant that the rear passenger slid under the seatbelt, implying higher risk at abdominal injuries in real life accidents. In the side impact crash, the head of the 10-year dummy contacted the interior trim bottoming out the curtain airbag.
Euro NCAP’s secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen, said: "Volvo has invested in safety, has made key technologies standard across the model range and the results speak for themselves: a very impressive five-star rating.
"Ford did not expect Euro NCAP to test the Mustang and chose not to fit safety technology in Europe which is available to its American consumers, and available on several other sports cars for that matter. Such an attitude to safety should trouble Ford’s customers, whether they are buying a high-powered muscle car or a regular family car."
Ford has announced a face-lifted Mustang will be available later in the US during the third quarter, with Pre-Collision Assist and Lane Keep Assist as standard. Euro NCAP expects to test the safety of this updated model when it is available on the European market.
Van Ratingen said: “We welcome any improvement, of course, and look forward to publishing a new rating for the updated model. However, more fundamental updates may be needed if the Mustang is to get a significantly better result. We therefore hope Ford takes the opportunity to invest in the changes needed now for future Mustang generations.”