All five cars were awarded the maximum five-star safety rating, and performed strongly in each of the four individual marking criteria: adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and safety assist systems.
Euro NCAP’s Best in Class Cars of 2011:
- Supermini: Chevrolet Aveo (Holden Barina)
- Small family: Ford Focus
- Small MPV: Mercedes-Benz B-Class
- Small off-road 4x4: Audi Q3
- Large family: Volvo V60
Runners-up across the categories included the Toyota Yaris, Hyundai ix20, Lexus CT200h, Chevrolet Malibu, Opel Zafira Tourer, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class.
Notably, the Aveo scored 87 per cent in the child occupant protection measure, outscoring the other four award winners. The Focus scored an impressive 72 per cent in the pedestrian protection test, the B-Class recorded 97 per cent for adult occupant protection, and the V60 achieved a perfect score for its safety assist features, which include its City Safety autonomous emergency braking system (AEB).
Euro NCAP secretary general Dr Michiel van Ratingen said the independent crash-tester was pushing more manufacturers to implement AEB technology.
“The safety case for AEB systems is very strong and we are therefore strongly encouraging manufacturers to increase the availability of such systems on new cars,” van Ratingen said.
“We are well underway to add the assessment of these systems to the overall rating and to make these systems a requirement for five stars in the future.”
Euro NCAP’s standards will become stricter in 2012 as it increases the minimum pedestrian protection score from 40 per cent to 60 per cent.