The Land Rover Defender and Audi A3 are among the latest cars to score top marks in the Euro NCap crash tests. And while new cars tend to do quite well in crash tests today, given how stringent Euro NCap is, the latest batch of new metal has thrown up a few surprises.
Let’s kick things off with the new Defender. Tested in 110 form, that’s the longer of the two versions currently on sale, the Defender scored particularly well on driver-assisted safety systems. The off-roader is kitted out with automatic emergency braking, speed and lane keep assistance. In fact, the new Defender, according to NCap, does a better job at protecting pedestrians in an accident than the smaller, lighter Hyundai i10.
The new Kia Sorento also scored a maximum five stars thanks in part to the addition of an eCall button, which alerts the emergency services for you in the event of an accident. But the most impressive of them all is the new Audi A3 and Seat Leon, both of which are based on the same platform. The A3 scored 89% for adult occupant production and 81% for child safety, while the Leon comes in a little higher at 92% and 88% respectively.
But there were some big surprises in the latest test batch. For instance, the Honda e, one of the most advanced cars to come out in 2020, scored four out of five stars. Remarkably, the EV lacks some of the advanced safety kit found on the Jazz and its front offset crash protection was far from perfect.
The Hyundai i10, meanwhile, was the only model to score three stars. The supermini was marked down for its limited autonomous braking functionality, which is now a key criteria of the test.
Still, no zero-star cars on the list this time around. And with the previous holder, the Fiat Panda, getting a long overdue update in 2021, we’ll hopefully never see a zero-star car again.