Currently reading: Nissan Leaf scores five stars in toughest Euro NCAP crash test
Electric hatch scored well for occupant protection and pedestrian safety

The new Nissan Leaf has kicked off Euro NCAP's new crash testing procedure for 2018 by earning a full five-star rating.

Nissan's all-electric hatch was commended for its adult occupant protection, with a 93% score in this area. The car scored 86% for child occupant protection, putting it at the top end of the family hatchback segment in this category.

Euro NCAP listed the Leaf's automatic emergency braking (AEB) technology, which is advanced enough to spot cyclists, as another standout feature for its success. The safety organisation considers such a system as extremely important because electric vehicles are often inaudible when driving in urban areas.

AEB testing is a complicated part of the process because cars will need an array of sensors with a wide angle of view to detect fast-moving cyclists within a busy urban environment.

Robbert Verweij, Euro NCAP board member, said: “This first Euro NCAP release of a AEB-cyclist-equipped vehicle shows what the joint efforts of governments and cyclists’ associations can achieve in collaboration with Euro NCAP.”

The Leaf received 71% for its safety systems, emphasing the effectiveness of technology fitted to the new model.

Euro NCAP's new procedure also asks cars to detect pedestrians in darkness and low-lighting conditions. In addition, there are new tests for this year that examine emergency lane-keep assist systems that can actively prevent a collision with a vehicle travelling in another lane.

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androo 27 April 2018


But the previous Leaf scored five stars in Europe and bombed with a dismal 'Poor' in the US small overlap test that Euro NCAP is afraid to implement for some reason (pressure from European manufacturers who know their cars will fail?). I doubt the new Leaf will fail the small overlap test this time, but I wonder if US Leafs will get better crash structures and curtain airbags that extend further forward than the European-market ones. Look at the videos from Euro NCAP and IIHS for the Honda Fit/Jazz for instance (note how far forward the curtain airbag extends) and it's clear Europe is getting inferior safety kit, which ought to be a big scandal. Autocar should investigate the differences between safety kit and performance of models sold in different markets.

Scoobman 27 April 2018


androo wrote:

(note how far forward the curtain airbag extends) and it's clear Europe is getting inferior safety kit, which ought to be a big scandal. 

Maybe you are right, but the regulations in the US might be different. I have heard it said that airbags in the US are bigger based on the regulatory presumption that the occupants won't be wearing a seatbelt, whereas airbags in Europe are designed to work in conjunction with the seatbelt.


Scoobman 26 April 2018

Impressive video

It is really interesting to see the way the car absorbs huge amounts of energy in the crashes, and very impressive to see the car avoid hitting pedestrians and other vehicles. I'm sure that many lives will be saved and injuries prevented by this safety tech.