The Audi Q8, MG HS and Nissan Juke also gained the top score of five stars. However, lower three-star ratings were awarded to other models from the Volkswagen Group, as well as a new model from Chinese start-up Aiways.
The Volkswagen Up, Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii siblings were put through the tests for the first time since their facelifts in 2019. Their ratings were brought down from five to three stars because AEB - an optional extra on the outgoing models (and standard fitment on the old e-Up) - is no longer available. Volkswagen, commenting on the results, noted that lane keep assist software is now fitted as standard to the new e-Up - as Skoda and Seats' configurators show it is with the Citigo-e iV and Mii Electric respectively.
Aiways’ new U5 electric SUV, which will go on sale in 2020 as the company’s first European model, was also rated at three stars. The Kia e-Niro rival lost points for its performance in the side impact, side pole and pedestrian avoidance tests.
Aiways responded to NCAP’s findings, noting that the U5 “is the first electric vehicle from a Chinese start-up to be tested by Euro NCAP.”
It added: “We are a young company, and will adapt and learn from these results. Euro NCAP found the U5 to be structurally safe, and we have already addressed and resolved the other issues highlighted in the testing. We expect the U5 to be among the safest mid-size SUVs available when it goes on sale in Europe next year.”
Aiways will make its European debut in 2020, with the U5 entering the market on a lease-exclusive basis, at a target price of around £340 per month. It is anticipated that a UK launch will follow in 2021, with Aiways the first in a flurry of Chinese car start-ups plotting a global roll-out.