The Citroën C3 Aircross, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Seat Seat Arona, Skoda Karoq, Vauxhall Crossland X, Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen T-Roc and Volvo XC60 all achieved top marks when tested in their standard specifications by Euro NCAP. The body's two-tier testing system scores cars in both their standard and full safety kit-equipped specifications.
The XC60 scored 98% for adult occupant protection, 87% for child occupant protection, 76% for pedestrian safety and 95% for safety assistance systems, the highest results of any car since the larger Volvo XC90 scored 97%, 87%, 72% and 100% when it was tested in 2015. The XC60, according to Matthew Avery, Thatcham's research director, the XC60's reduced weight, advanced assistance technologies help it to achieve such a high rating.
Thatcham Research, Euro NCAP’s UK testing facility, brought attention to the fact that the C3 Aircross and Crossland X are not fitted with automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard but made up for its absence elsewhere. These were the only cars in the batch without the system. By contrast, the XC60’s AEB system avoided collisions at all speeds tested.
Avery explained that following pushback from manufacturers, AEB will not be mandatory for a five-star NCAP rating until next year. A buffer period between 2014 and 2018 was introduced to give manufacturers time to make the tech standard and still achieve top ratings in the meantime. Today, a more advanced lane keep assist system but no AEB can garner a car a five-star rating.
A Citroën spokesman said: "The specification of each Citroën product range is under constant review. We work hard to ensure every model is optimised in the context of customer demand, the competition and, of course, all legislative requirements. With regards to the C3 Aircross, following a product review here in the UK, Flair versions will be equipped as standard with Active Safety Brake from January 2018 production. The system will remain an option on the Feel trim level."
Avery said: “It’s exceedingly rare for a vehicle to score so favourably across the board. The XC60’s standard-fit safety technologies are excellent, or rather those that we were able to test are - its Turn Across Path and Run Off Road systems are not yet a feature of the Euro NCAP programme.”