The 10 safest new cars of 2019

The 10 safest new cars of 2019
The 10 safest new cars of 2019

Safety researchers have named the 10 safest new cars of the year, declaring that drivers have “never been safer behind the wheel”.

The list of the 10 safest cars of the last 12 months has been compiled by a team of judges including Thatcham Research’s director of research, Matthew Avery, Euro NCAP’s secretary general Michiel van Ratingen and Claire Evans, consumer editor for What Car? Magazine.

The judges rate vehicles not only on their crash protection but on supplementary safety systems and their cost.

All the models – which make up the shortlist for What Car?’s Safety Award 2020 – have to earn a five-star Euro NCAP rating and high testing scores across all categories. They also need to feature standard-fit crash avoidance technology – from autonomous emergency braking that can detect pedestrians and cyclists, to lane keeping systems and adaptive cruise control that combine to reduce fatigue for motorway drivers. And the judges consider their affordability to promote cars bringing safety to the mainstream.

Car makers raise their game

Matthew Avery commented: “Carmakers have really raised their game this year; drivers have never been safer behind the wheel. Should the worst happen, motorists are incredibly well protected. But crucially, these cars have an abundance of standard-fit safety systems designed to prevent crashes. These innovative technologies are watching the road when you aren’t and the continued progression in their performance is genuinely exciting for road safety.”

Read more: Priests and car dealers among Britain’s most dangerous drivers

Below is the top 10 list, in alphabetical order, with insights from Matthew Avery.

BMW 3 Series

(Photo: BMW)

Avery comments: “Its overall 97 per cent rating in the adult occupant protection category is one of the highest of the year. And it scored 100 per cent in both our side impact tests – including the pole crash which is the most invasive test we have. Strong sales, especially as a fashionable fleet choice mean this car, with its suite of standard-fit crash avoidance technologies, will be a common sight on UK roads.”

Mazda 3

(Photo: Mazda)

“A really good performer in so many areas. Class-leading safety protection in impacts and some great active safety features, including innovative driver monitoring technology which isn’t included in the current Euro NCAP rating, but will be in the future.”

Mazda CX-30

(Photo: Mazda)

“Its 99 per cent rating in the adult occupant protection category – maxing out in the full frontal, side impact and pole crash and AEB city tests – was the highest ever seen in Euro NCAP testing. Class leading active and passive safety, offered in a fashionable crossover package.”

Mercedes-Benz B-Class

(Photo: Mercedes-Benz)

“The first of two Mercedes-Benz cars to feature in the top 10. Typical of the brand’s attention to safety detail, reinforcing its reputation of offering safety as standard across its model range. A great choice for small families.”

Mercedes-Benz CLA

(Photo: Mercedes-Benz)

“Its 90 per cent average score across all Euro NCAP categories is the best of 2019. A close relative to last year’s What Car? Safety Award winner the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the CLA continues the family tradition of class-leading safety. From a pop-up bonnet to protect pedestrians and cyclists in the event of a collision, to one of the best intelligent speed assistance systems tested, this car is a very safe bet.”

Seat Tarraco

(Photo: Seat)

Another Volkswagen group SUV, this time in the large segment. Offers safety at a reasonable price point. Good performance for its driver assistance technologies, with strong AEB and lane support system scores. If you’re in the market for a big SUV, this car is one of the safest you can buy.”

Škoda Scala

(Photo: Skoda)

“Maximum safety, on a minimal budget. The Škoda Scala shows strong performance across the board – rating highly on passive and active safety protection. One of the safest small cars available in 2019.”

Tesla Model 3

(Photo: Tesla)

“Achieved the highest overall score in Euro NCAP’s safety assist – and by some distance. It scored maximum points in our lane support system tests – showing that a well-designed system can protect motorists without hindering the driving experience.”

Volkswagen Golf

(Photo: Volkswagen)

“The top-selling Volkswagen Golf comes with an admirable number of standard-fit safety technologies, including AEB and a lane support system and also some great driving assistant systems including electronic lane keeping.”

Volkswagen T-Cross

(Photo: Volkswagen)

“The small crossover segment is one of the most popular and is growing fast. The usual high-performance expected of new Volkswagen cars in impact testing, but also great active safety technology fitted as standard, including a lane support system which helps to prevent drivers from inadvertently drifting out of lane, but will also intervene in more critical situations.”

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