BEST IN CLASS: Volvo's XC90 achieved a best-in-class 5-star rating for vehicle safety, reports Euro NCAP. Image: Youtube
London, England - The Euro NCAP, the European vehicle safety standard, has revealed its "Best-in-Class" cars of 2015.
The 8 safest cars has been named from a list of more than 40 vehicles crash-tested in 2015.
Cars from Germany, Sweden, Japan and the UK are amongst the class leaders of 2015.
Automakers will have to overcome more stringent tests as Euro NCAP introduces an assessment of pedestrian safety systems in 2016.
New safety standards
According to Euro NCAP: "In 2015, the new full-width frontal test has, as was hoped, had a significant influence on the fitment of rear seatbelt pre-tensioners and load-limiters across all sectors and autonomous braking technology continues to become more widespread.
"The ratings showed a marked difference between newer cars that have been developed for the latest safety technologies and older vehicles, whose safety has not been updated and which now lag behind the leaders."
Watch: Euro NCAP Best-in-Class cars of 2015
Best off-road vehicles
The best performing large off-roader, and the car with the best overall performance of 2015, is Volvo’s XC90. The automaker's new flagship achieved a 97% for adult occupant protection and a maximum 100% for its safety assist technologies.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC is the best small off-roader of 2015.
Best large family cars
In the large family category, two cars performed well - the Jaguar XE and the Toyota Avensis produced identical results.
According to Euro NCAP: "The Jaguar takes top honours in this category as all of its safety equipment is standard. The Toyota has some driver assistance technologies as an option, however comes at a generally lower price."
Best small family car
The best performing small family car is the Infiniti Q30, with strong performance in all areas of assessment.
The Q30’s active bonnet helped it to gain points for pedestrian protection which were amongst the best of 2015.
In 2015, two superminis gave the same overall safety performance. The Honda Jazz and the Suzuki Vitara were neck and neck overall, one car edging the other in one or other part of the assessment.
However, the Jazz is Euro NCAP’s Best in Class, based on Honda’s fitment strategy for advanced safety systems.
The VW Touran is the best performing small MPV.
The Ford Galaxy/S-MAX beat the Renault Espace for top spot in the large MPV category.
What about roadsters?
In 2015, Euro NCAP paid special attention to roadsters, a category of relatively expensive cars but for which the importance of safety is often downplayed by automakers.
Euro NCAP: "None of the tested roadsters could achieve 5 stars, lacking new avoidance technology in particular. Nevertheless, with 4 stars, the Mazda MX-5 is the best in its category."