The good news is that cars are getting safer and safer. You’re less likely to crash than 10 or 20 years ago. And if you do, you’re more likely to get away without being seriously injured. 

But not all cars are as safe as others. So, if you’re looking to buy a new car, to help you ensure you drive away the safest vehicle possible, below is a run-down of ten of the safest new cars. 

All of them were shortlisted for the What Car? Safety Award 2019 on the basis of their crash protection and crash avoidance technology, including AEB automatic braking. All of the cars get five stars for safety, the top ranking under the Euro NCAP system of safety assessments of new vehicles.

Sales volumes of the cars were also considered as the judges wanted to include cars that would have an impact on road safety in the UK. 

Thatcham Research, the vehicle safety organisation which revealed the list, described them as “some of the safest ever made, anywhere in the world”.

Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham, said “All cars in the top ten have systems which can provide highly effective assistance to drivers – by managing speed, offering steering support should a car drift out of lane, and maintaining a safe distance to the car in front.” 

Here are the 10 cars, in alphabetical order, together with Matthew’s comments: 

Audi A6: “Audi has two models in the list, which is testament to the brand’s excellent track record in producing five-star Euro NCAP cars. The Audi A6 has many safety features, including a pop-up bonnet, to protect pedestrians and cyclists in the event of a collision.” 

Audi Q3: “The second highest overall Euro NCAP score (87%) in 2018, very good performance in crash testing and the highest score overall (85%) for crash avoidance technology. One of the year’s stand-out performers.” 

Ford Focus: “The Ford Focus has always been a top seller, so the latest version with its standard-fit crash avoidance technology is making UK roads safer in volume. In testing, it’s AEB system performed just as well as some of the more expensive buys in the longlist too. It is also fitted with a class-leading Driver Assistance System, to support steering and braking.”

Jaguar I-Pace: “One of two Electric Vehicles among our ten safest cars of the year, successfully allaying concerns around the safety performance of Electric Vehicles. Very high Adult Occupant Protection (94%) and crash avoidance technology (81%) scores too.” 

Lexus ES: “A Best in Class Euro NCAP winner in the large family car segment, the Lexus ES is another top safety performer from a carmaker with a consistent approach to safety.” 

Mercedes-Benz A-Class: “Top level safety, with the second-lowest price tag in the list. The only car in the top ten to reach 90% in terms of its overall Euro NCAP score. Mercedes has shown that volume sales and market leading safety technology need not be mutually exclusive. It too has a high performing driver assistance system to take some of the burden on long drives, adding to its safety credentials while marking an early step towards automation.”

Nissan LEAF: “The Nissan LEAF was the first car to go through Euro NCAP’s updated testing regime and has a cyclist detection and avoidance system to protect vulnerable road users. Another Electric Vehicle in the top ten, offering further reassurance to anyone with concerns about electric battery compromise in crashes.” 

Peugeot 508: “The second highest Adult Occupant Protection score (96%) of the year, and strong performance across all other judging categories. A very good Speed Assistance System too, along with optimal protection for child passengers in the rear.”

Volvo V60/S60: “Every car Volvo has produced has achieved the maximum Euro NCAP star rating, and every car has featured at the top end of the Safety Award longlist since it began in 2015. The Volvo V60 / S60 is of course no different, with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 96%.” 

Volvo XC40: “The XC40, Volvo’s offering in the burgeoning small SUV market, offers the highest Adult Occupant Protection score of any car tested last year. It’s ‘Pilot Assist’ system, combining Adaptive Cruise Control and Steering Support, is also very good.” 

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