9 September 2004

Renault's Modus mini-MPV has become the first sub C-segment car to score five stars in crash tests conducted by Euro NCAP. It registered 32.84 points out of a maximum 37, beating every other small car on sale and becoming the seventh Renault in two years to record a five-star performance.

Until now, the best results that anything smaller than Vauxhall's new Astra could attain had been achieved by the Honda Jazz - a close rival for the Modus. Earlier this year, the Japanese hatch got four stars in front and side impacts, plus three stars in pedestrian and child occupant protection.

Its new competitor, driven in this week's magazine, goes one better in two respects, but was less effective in protecting those outside of the car. Five stars in front and side impacts, and the four in child occupant protection, are both firsts for a supermini; only one star for pedestrian protection, however, will be a disappointment for its maker. Likewise, it's worthwhile noting that the Modus' crash safety is dependent on specification - curtain airbags aren't included on the entry-level Authentique version.

The platform which underpins the Modus will go on to form the basis of the new Clio next year; the current version, and the Kangoo, and the only remaining four-star Renault passenger cars.

The Modus goes on sale tomorrow (10 September), from £9250. Expression trim, which includes six adaptive airbags, comes in at £9650, in 1.2-litre 16-valve form.

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