There are plenty of drivers out there for whom style, looks, speed and driveability come very much second to their overriding concern – safety.
When you consider that there were 1,793 people killed in traffic accidents in 2017 (source: Gov.uk), and thousands of other accidents in which cars were damaged or destroyed, it’s easy to understand why.
Fortunately, it’s with this in mind that the independent vehicle testing company, Thatcham, has released its annual safety results, detailing the latest car models found to be the most, and least, safe to drive.
Thatcham’s results – Cars to avoid
Worryingly, Thatcham has given one of its lowest-ever safety ratings to the new ‘facelift’ model Fiat Panda.
The Panda scored zero points out of a maximum of five. The only other car to have achieved a zero-rating was another Fiat, the Punto, in 2017.
The tests cover categories relating to car passengers including adults, children and passengers, as well as pedestrians. It’s score for child occupation protection was the lowest of any vehicle it has tested, scoring 16% versus and industry average of 79%.
The latest model of the Jeep Wrangler also got a very low score of one-star.
Commenting on the Panda’s results, Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research, said: “Most troubling is that the FIAT Panda is seen as a good choice for young drivers and fledgling families. But the only safety technology fitted was seatbelt reminders and the rear system failed to meet requirements, so wasn’t even rated.”
Avery continued, saying “As the bare minimum, a standard-fit Autonomous Emergency Braking system should be available with the Fiat Panda. This is especially important since the car offers so little protection in the event of a collision.
“These shocking Euro NCAP test results demonstrate an inconsistent commitment to safety, as Fiat has produced four and five-star cars in the past.”
Thatcham’s results – Safest cars
The cars that achieved the highest five-star Thatcham rating form a fairly large group. The very safest include:
Hyundai Santa Fe
Of the safest cars, Matthew Avery said “These six carmakers take a more consistent approach to safety across their model range, and all have made a conscious decision to meet the standards set by Euro NCAP’s toughest tests.”
“The Audi Q3, Jaguar I Pace, Peugeot 508 and Volvo V60 are all amongst the ten safest cars produced in 2018, with the BMW X5 and Hyundai Santa Fe not far behind.”
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Published 18th February 2019