The bar for safety standards in new cars has never been set higher, with increasingly stringent guidelines regularly introduced by car safety assessment body Euro NCAP.
Which is good, no? From the most hardened petrolhead to the responsible parent of three, every motorist should take solace from the fact that the development team behind their car has done everything it can to deliver the safest vehicle possible.
Everything from the new BMW 5 Series to the Audi Q5 has achieved a top five-star safety rating, while other models like the two-star Ford Mustang and three-star Ford Ka+ have fallen well short of the mark.
Here, we’re counting down the safest cars to have been tested by Euro NCAP under its current test guidelines introduced at the start of 2016.
Land Rover Discovery
Total Euro NCAP score: 318
The world had to wait close to eight years for the fifth-generation Discovery and it was sure worth it. Not only is it one of the finest family SUVs on the market, it’s also one of the safest cars, period.
Total Euro NCAP score: 318
Subaru’s practical all-wheel-drive estate car may have the same crash test score as the Discovery with marginally superior adult occupant protection, but it’s nowhere near as competitive when it comes to ride, interior feel and value.
Total Euro NCAP score: 319
It’s Audi’s daintiest SUV to date, and so many safety features have been crammed into the Q2 that it scored higher than the much larger Q5.
Total Euro NCAP score: 320
The second-gen Tiguan refines everything that was great about the original car, with loads of interior space, a sharp look and a great drive. The fact that it has the highest score for adult occupants in Euro NCAP history speaks volumes (96 per cent).
Kia Niro (with safety pack)
Total Euro NCAP score: 322
We’ve notched on the safety pack for Kia’s hybrid compact SUV because without it, the Niro only scores four stars. However, Euro NCAP is satisfied that enough buyers will pay extra to include it that it was included in crash tests.
Total Euro NCAP score: 323
Underestimate Hyundai’s debut hybrid at your peril; the Ioniq has proven itself to be mighty impressive thus far, coming up as a strong challenger for the Prius’ hybrid crown and causing the Nissan Leaf plenty of bother too. It was also named ‘best small hatch’ at the 2017 UK Car of the Year awards. That’s before we mention the fact it’s the fifth safest car tested by Euro NCAP in the past 16 months…
Total Euro NCAP score: 324
This E-Class does it all – it’s super comfortable, lovely to drive, comes with loads of kit and best of all, it’s mega safe, with a 95 per cent adult occupant protection score and 90 per cent for children.
Toyota C-HR and Prius
Total Euro NCAP score: 326 and 336
Hybrid-focused Toyota doesn’t particularly brag about its safety credentials, but it should, as it seems to be as brilliant at building safe cars as it is at making eco-conscious models.
Volvo S90 / V90
Total Euro NCAP score: 354
It should never have been in doubt that Volvo would top this list because no other car brand is as dedicated to improving car safety.
The Swedish brand even has a self-imposed target of entirely eliminating deaths caused by its cars by 2020, and with the S90 saloon and its V90 estate equivalent scoring so well during Euro NCAP tests, they certainly seem to be getting there.