The Renault Espace and Suzuki Vitara score top marks in highly regarded safety tests
22 April 2015

Renault's new Espace and the Suzuki Vitara have been awarded the maximum five stars in the latest round of the Euro NCAP safety tests.

The French car firm's new Espace large MPV gained its highest marks in child occupant protection, with an 89% score.

It was also awarded 82% for adult occupant protection and 80% in the safety assist category. Its lowest mark of 70% for pedestrian protection was still described by NCAP as a "good overall performance, with only poor results on the stiff windscreen area".

Suzuki's Vitara crossover scored marginally higher in those areas, with 89% and 85% for adult and child occupant protection respectively, its lowest score being 75% for safety assist.

The report noted that "dummy readings showed good protection of the knees and femurs of the driver and passenger", while the car's autonomous emergency braking system was praised for its inter-urban performance.

Meanwhile, the Fiat 500X small MPV and Mazda 2 supermini scored highly, with each being awarded four out of five stars overall.

Both models earned high marks for adult protection, with the Mazda and Fiat getting identical scores of 64% for the safety assist category, with both models being marked down slightly for not offering an autonomous emergency braking system as standard.

 

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4

23 April 2015
The Suzuki certainly looks like it took the punch in the mouth well, damage didn't even reach the cabin. Good work Suzuki.

23 April 2015
I notice in the video for the Suzuki that the curtain airbags don't extend to the A pillar. This is a bad sign for the small overlap crash scenario that for some reason Euro NCAP, unlike the IIHS, won't consider. But these crashes do happen and the curtain airbag plays a critical role in preventing injury by keeping the driver's head away from hard structures when it rolls off the steering wheel. It'll be interesting to see if this Suzuki is sold in the US and has to undergo a small overlap test. If so, I bet they'll modify it, but perhaps only for the US... There's an issue here perhaps.

23 April 2015
androo wrote:

I notice in the video for the Suzuki that the curtain airbags don't extend to the A pillar. This is a bad sign for the small overlap crash scenario that for some reason Euro NCAP, unlike the IIHS, won't consider. But these crashes do happen and the curtain airbag plays a critical role in preventing injury by keeping the driver's head away from hard structures when it rolls off the steering wheel. It'll be interesting to see if this Suzuki is sold in the US and has to undergo a small overlap test. If so, I bet they'll modify it, but perhaps only for the US... There's an issue here perhaps.

Suzuki do not sell cars in the US anymore and so we may never know. I agree that Euroncap should include this important test. Interestingly, the Suzuki Kizashi was amongst the first cars to be subjected to the IIHS small overlap crash test and it was, if I remember rightly, the only car, other than Volvo, to score a maximum Good rating. For a manufacturer on the more affordable end of the spectrum, Suzuki do very well on safety spec and car strength these days.

23 April 2015
Shame the Espace isn't coming here, I'd take one over a dull Sharan or Galaxy any day. I know it received 5 stars but Renault must be a little disappointed with an adult occupancy protection score of 82% when so many cars get over 90% these days.

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