2019’s safest new cars named

2019’s safest new cars named
2019’s safest new cars named

The ten safest new cars on sale in 2019 have been named by experts preparing to award the title of Britain’s safest car.

Ahead of the What Car? Safety Award 2019, specialists at Thatcham Research have released the list of the 10 cars vying for the coveted title.

A panel of judges will assess the 10 shortlisted cars on various categories before naming the overall winner for 2019 at the What Car? Awards in late January.

Life-saving technology

Models from mainstream manufacturers including Ford and Nissan line up against offerings from premium brands such as Lexus and Mercedes as well as regular list entrant Volvo.

Read more: These are the cars with the lowest safety ratings of 2018

Matthew Avery, What Car? Safety Award judge and director of research at Thatcham Research said: “It’s clear that occupants of the latest cars are at a lower risk than ever. But not resting on our laurels, we raised the bar in safety testing for 2018. This means the ten cars in this long list are some of the safest ever made, anywhere in the world.”

As well as having to achieve a full five stars in Euro NCAP crash testing, all the cars in the top 10 had to perform exceptionally in the new autonomous emergency braking (AEB) tests, offer strong pedestrian and cyclist protection and were selected for the availability of systems that combine lane keep assistance, adapative cruise control and speed recognition systems. They also had to have strong sales volumes in the UK to ensure they make an impact on road safety.

The ten contenders

Audi A6

Safest cars 2019

Matthew Avery comments: “Audi has two models in the list, which is testament to the brand’s excellent track record in producing five-star Euro NCAP cars. The Audi A6 has many safety features, including a pop-up bonnet, to protect pedestrians and cyclists in the event of a collision.”

Audi Q3

Safest cars 2019

Audi’s compact SUV acheived the second highest overall Euro NCAP score (87 per cent) and the highest score overall (85 per cent) for crash avoidance technology. “One of the year’s stand-out performers,” reckons Avery.

Ford Focus

Safest cars 2019

The second best-selling car in the UK brings a high level of crash avoidance tech to the mainstream as standard, including “class-leading” driver assistance featuring lane and braking support. In testing, its AEB system performed just as well as some of the more expensive models on this list. Review

Jaguar I-Pace

Safest cars 2019

Jaguar’s first all-electric model has been praised for its impact on the EV market but is also highly rated for its safety, scoring 94 per cent for adult occupant protection and 81 per cent for crash avoidance technology in the Euro NCAP testing. Review

Lexus ES

Safest cars 2019

The all-new saloon was named the bst in class for 2018 by Euro NCAP and comes will the full suite of Lexus safety systems as standard across the range. These include lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and nighttime pedestrain detection technology.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Safest cars 2019

Euro NCAP’s overall top rated car in 2018, the A-Class is the second cheapest car on the What Car? List but is the only one in the top ten to reach a 90 per cent overall Euro NCAP score. Avery commented: “Mercedes has shown that volume sales and market leading safety technology need not be mutually exclusive. It too has a high performing driver assistance system to take some of the burden on long drives.” Review

Nissan Leaf

Safest cars 2019

“The Nissan Leaf was the first car to go through Euro NCAP’s updated testing regime and has a cyclist detection and avoidance system to protect vulnerable road users,” says Avery. “Another electric vehicle in the top ten, offering further reassurance to anyone with concerns about electric battery compromise in crashes.” Review

Peugeot 508

Safest cars 2019

Peugeot’s executive saloon contender achieved the second highest adult occupant protection score of the year (96 per cent), and strong performance across all other judging categories. Also praised for its speed assistance system too and “optimal” protection for child passengers in the rear. Review

Volvo V60/S60

Safest cars 2019

Another model from the exec saloon class that comes packed with standard-fit active and passive technology to prevent crashes or mitigate their impact. Says Avery: “Every car Volvo has produced has achieved the maximum Euro NCAP star rating, and every car has featured at the top end of the Safety Award longlist since it began in 2015. The Volvo V60 / S60 is of course no different, with an adult occupant protection score of 96 per cent.” Review

Volvo XC40

Safest cars 2019

Volvo’s answer to the Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q3 acheived the highest adult occupant protection score of any car tested last year. Its also features the same ‘Pilot Assist’ system as the V60, combining adaptive cruise control and steering support as well as pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, oncoming lane mitigation and run-off road protection. Review

An overall What Car? Safety Award 2019 winner, along with the cars in second and third place, will be announced at the Car of the Year ceremony on Tuesday 22 January.

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