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by Matt Campbell

The latest round of Euro NCAP crash testing has seen the quirky Citroen C4 Cactus manage just four stars, while the all-new Mercedes-Benz V-Class van and Nissan X-Trail medium SUV achieved the maximum five-star ratings.

Euro NCAP stated that the result for the Citroen C4 Cactus was “creditable” against the crash test authorities toughening requirements, with the French compact SUV/crossover managing to score 82 per cent for adult occupant protection, 79 per cent for child protection, 80 per cent for pedestrian protection but just 56 per cent for safety assistance technologies.

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The C4 Cactus is pitched as a value car in Europe, and as such it isn’t offered with an autonomous emergency braking system, nor any form of lane departure or blind-spot warning system. It was the lack of these systems that garnered the four-star score. The C4 Cactus’ novel roof-mounted passenger airbag operated as effectively as a regular dash-mounted unit.

The Nissan X-Trail scored five stars, with adult protection scoring 86 per cent, child protection 83 per cent, pedestrian protection 75 per cent and assistance technologies 75 per cent. The X-Trail has blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems as options in Europe (and in Australia these are fitted to the range-topping Ti variant), as well as an autonomous emergency brake system, though this isn’t available to Australian-delivered vehicles.

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The all-new Mercedes-Benz V-Class van also scored maximum points, with scores of 93 per cent (adult occupant), 87 per cent (child occupant), 67 per cent (pedestrian) and 85 per cent (safety assist). The V-Class scored so well in the latter category due to its collision prevention assist system because autonomous braking systems “are not yet included in the assessment for business and family vans”, according to Euro NCAP.