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.