Euro NCAP awards two more cars with five star safety ratings

The collection of cars that Euro NCAP has awarded a full five stars for safety too just became a little larger, with the organisation handing the award out to both the new Suzuki Vitara and the Renault Espace. As well as giving comprehensive reports on the safety aspects of these vehicles, the group has done what it invariably does and has released footage of the tests too, giving us a really up close view of how well the vehicles perform when hit from the front and side at high speeds.

Out of the two cars given the top rating, the Vitara came out slightly on top, managing to score an 89 per cent protection rating for adult occupants, with both passengers and drivers given solid protection for legs, head and feet. However in some situations, the driver could suffer some injuries to their chest area, with protection for that merely considered “adequate.” While there is arguably some work to be done still on the vehicle’s child protection straps for when they get above three years of age, overall children should be safe within the confines of the vehicle.

In terms of advanced safety features, the car comes with warnings for speeding, electronic stability control, seat belt reminders and automated braking with radar support systems. Better yet, it works all the way up to 60 miles per hour, which is incredibly rare in new vehicles.

In comparison, the similarly awarded Renault Espace achieved a slightly lesser safety rating for adult passengers and pedestrians, scoring 82 per cent and 80 per cent respectively. However it did have improved safety systems, which gave Euro NCAP cause to award it an 80 per cent rating for electronic protection.

The systems that the safety group was most impressed with included the automated braking function which works up to 86 miles per hour in some capacities (though only promises to mitigate damage done during a collision, not avoid it altogether) as well as lane assist systems which warn the driver if they drift out of their lane on the motorway.

Child protection was also slightly improved, with children of all ages in booster seats given above average protection, making this an excellent car for those with youngsters in tow.

Watching the videos above, it’s interesting to note how little impact drivers received during a collision. Although he vehicle itself seems to buckle and take a lot of damage, note how the drivers and passengers simply impact on the cushioned airbags. While they may be likely to sustain whiplash in these sorts of injuries, they shouldn’t come off too badly.

Do safety tests like these make you guys more likely to buy one of these cars?

    Jon Martindale

    Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.

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