The ten safest new cars on sale in 2019 have been named by experts preparing to award the title of Britainâ€™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.
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.
Matthew Avery, What Car? Safety Award judge and director of research at Thatcham Research said: â€œItâ€™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.â€
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
Matthew Avery comments: â€œAudi has two models in the list, which is testament to the brandâ€™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.â€
Audiâ€™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. â€œOne of the yearâ€™s stand-out performers,â€ reckons Avery.
The second best-selling car in the UK brings a high level of crash avoidance tech to the mainstream as standard, including â€œclass-leadingâ€ 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
Jaguarâ€™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
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.
Euro NCAPâ€™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: â€œMercedes 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.â€ Review
â€œThe Nissan Leaf was the first car to go through Euro NCAPâ€™s updated testing regime and has a cyclist detection and avoidance system to protect vulnerable road users,â€ says Avery. â€œAnother electric vehicle in the top ten, offering further reassurance to anyone with concerns about electric battery compromise in crashes.â€ Review
Peugeotâ€™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 â€œoptimalâ€ protection for child passengers in the rear. Review
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: â€œEvery 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.â€ Review
Volvoâ€™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 â€˜Pilot Assistâ€™ 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.