The ten contenders

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 amongst 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 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 (97%) of any car tested last year. It’s Motorway Support System, combining Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering to reduce driver fatigue on long journeys, is also very good.”

How the award will be won

Unfortunately, accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists are on the increase.

That’s why it’s fundamental that advanced safety technologies to help drivers avoid crashes with our most vulnerable users are fitted to new cars, and not offered as an add-on.

The ten cars in the mix for the much-coveted award were selected by expert judges who considered:

  • Euro NCAP scores for the highest levels of protection offered to driver, front passenger and rear-seated child passengers in a crash


  • How well each car performed in new Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) tests, introduced to address rising numbers of accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians


  • Availability of systems which combine Adaptive Cruise Control, Speed Recognition and Control, and Steering Support – the first step towards vehicle automation


  • Sales volume in the UK – can the car make a real impact on road safety?


"The progression we have seen in car safety technology, in terms of performance and availability, is tremendously exciting. The carmakers in contention for this award should be proud of the positive impact their vehicles will have on UK road safety."

Matthew Avery

Director of Research, Thatcham Research