Euro NCAP says the Discovery got five stars but it was “not without problems”. It said the driver airbag bottomed out in the frontal offset test, because of insufficient pressure, while in the side barrier test the driver’s door became unlatched.
“Jaguar Land Rover has an ambitious programme of new model releases in the coming years,” Euro NCAP’s secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen, said.
“We hope that this challenging schedule and tight development times do not compromise the safety of the vehicles offered, and we hope that they will take our findings onboard.”
The recently facelifted Fiat 500 and all-new Ford Ka+ both lack rear seatbelt pretensioners and load-limiters, which are standard on most cars on the market, as well as autonomous emergency braking which is offered on half of new models today.
Euro NCAP says the 500 showed poor protection of both the driver and rear passenger in the frontal test, while the Ka+ had poor chest protection.
“Unfortunately, high hopes for the segment are smashed by Ford by releasing a brand new Ka+ with mediocre safety performance,” van Ratingen said.
“The new C3 shows that a respectful rating is achievable also for superminis,” he added.
Ford was expecting this result and maintains that the low-cost car is safe.
“We’re trying to give our customers the best possible value,” a spokesperson said.
“Obviously, these sophisticated safety technologies cost a considerable amount of money, and that would have to be passed on to the customer. We studied the market closely and decided what’s a necessity to that buyer and what wouldn’t be. But it is a safe car,” they added.