Euro NCAP has ended its busiest-ever year with new safety ratings for 15 more car models, including its first ever zero-star rating.
Five stars were awarded to the Hyundai KONA, the Kia Stinger, the fourth generation BMW 6 Series and the Jaguar F-Pace. Three stars were awarded to the MG ZS crossover, the Dacia Duster 2 and the Kia Stonic (five stars with optional safety equipment).
According to Euro NCAP, the current competitive market-place and rapidly-changing consumer preferences is leading more and more manufacturers to extend the lifetimes of their models, often introducing only minor facelifts along the way to boost sales. To help consumers make a fair comparison to new models, Euro NCAP has updated the ratings on several recently facelifted cars.
Other than the Toyota Yaris, that could keep its five-star rating, most of these cars have dropped to three stars in this year’s safety tests. The list includes the Toyota Aygo (four stars with optional safety equipment), the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Ford’s C-MAX and Grand C-MAX, the Opel Karl and the DS 3. The most extreme example, however, is the Fiat Punto, which has been on sale since 2005 and is still a strong seller in Italy. The aging supermini is outclassed by every car tested in recent history and becomes Euro NCAP’s first car ever to earn zero stars.
“We have seen a lot of good cars in 2017, able to meet Euro NCAP’s 5-star requirements,” said Euro NCAP Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen. “Superminis like the new Polo, the Fiesta and the Ibiza now come with advanced safety technology as standard, offering the best in crash avoidance and crash protection. The fact that older cars cannot compete illustrates the pace at which the vehicle industry is innovating safety and the willingness and ability of competitive manufacturers to meet the highest standards. Those who do not keep their cars up to the latest standards get left behind, as these results clearly show.”