The safest and least safe new cars revealed – is yours on the list?

SAFETY is always a high priority when thinking about buying a new car.

You would expect all newer models to have the best safety systems but that isn't always the case.

Thatcham Research and the Euro New Car Assessment Program have released their list of the UK's safest new cars of 2021.

New models are selected and put through rigorous assessments which include test crashing the cars into walls and poles.

Each car is randomly selected from a wide range of companies and scored in five different categories.

They first get an overall rating out of five stars for safety before being judged on adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, vulnerable road user protection and safety assist.

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For 2021, Euro NCAP and Thatcham Research got to test out the all-electric Mercedes EQs, Volvo's sub-group Polestar 2 and the familiar Nissan Qashqui, plus many more.

On the finding's Matthew Avery, chief research strategy officer at Thatcham Research said: “It's fantastic to see carmakers continuing to prioritise safety, with all but four vehicles tested by Euro NCAP in 2021 achieving a four or five-star rating.

"Most are rising to the safety challenge and it’s encouraging to note EVs are performing very well as a group too."

Here's a breakdown of the cars that came top of the class and those that didn't perform quite as well.

The five safest new car models

Each of these five safest car models scored a five out of five for the safety rating.

Mercedes EQS

The Mercedes EQs impressed with its protection.

With prices starting at £99,995, it may not be a common car on the UK roads but it is one of the safest out there.

The luxurious electric car is full of tech to make it as safe as possible.

It has improved safety technology and occupant protection, which was proven with its 96% adult occupant protection and 91% child occupant protection.

Matthew said: “This is an extremely safe vehicle which achieved impressive Euro NCAP test scores.

"As you would expect from Mercedes-Benz, the EQS is a great safety performer with its Adult Occupant Protection score of 96% and its Child Occupant Protection score of 91% being the joint highest in those categories during testing." 

Nissan Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai has been one of the UK's most popular cars for years and continues to impress with its safety.

Its highest scoring area was its safety assist, scoring a massive 95%.

Some of its most popular features are its reverse automatic braking, lane support and of course, its price tag.

At a starting price point of £24,955, it is one of the lowest costing cars on the list.

Matthew said: "It's one of the best vehicles we've tested in terms of safety scores across the board and when you add in the price point, along with the fact it’s produced in the UK, we feel it really deserves its place." 

Skoda Enyaq iV

If you're looking for a cheaper electric option then the Skoda Enyaq iV could be for you.

With prices starting from £34,580, it's a lot more affordable compared to the Mercedes EQs.

The SUV gave some impressive scoring, gaining 91% on both adult and child occupant protection.

Matthew said: "The VW Group clearly hasn’t compromised safety in the transition to electric propulsion."

Toyota Yaris Cross

The Toyota Yaris Cross was an all-round safety pleaser.

Another one of the more affordable cars, the Yaris Cross starts off from £24,140.

This car will be a hit for those that want a car with the SUV look but on a smaller scale.

Matthew said: “Other cars performed similarly well in testing but few, if any, came in anywhere near the Yaris Cross’s low-entry price." 

Polestar 2

One of the more expensive options is the Polestar 2, starting at £49,900.

The car is made by Volvo under its Polestar sub-brands.

The Polestar scored highly across all categories, with its highest score being 92% in adult occupant protection.

It looks like a promising safety car for those looking to invest.

Matthew said: "As a new brand, Polestar should be applauded for keeping safety so high on the agenda.”

The least safe models

Of course, all the models are safe to be on the road, but they ranked the lowest in the testing.

Renault Zoe

The Renault Zoe scored the low rating of zero out of five for its safety.

The main reasoning for this was Renault removing a vital piece of safety equipment.

In the new model, it no longer has a seat-mounted airbag.

This is important as it protects an occupants head when involved in side impact.

Overall, it didn't impress on the safety aspect.

Dacia Spring

At the low starting cost of £14,500, the electric Dacia Spring may be affordable but not entirely safe.

It gained a rating for one out of five due to weak protection across multiple areas of the crash test.

With the score of 49% for adult occupant protection, it doesn't come close to other cars in this list.

Dacia Sandero

The Dacia Sandero may have an adult occupant protection of 70% and 72% for children but that's its only highs, scoring an overall two out of five.

The safety technology installed in the car only protects impacts with other cars, which doesn't help with pedestrians or cyclists.

Its low cost of £7,995 as a starting point may be attractive but always think of safety.

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