What Car? Safety Award 2021

What Car? Safety Award 2021


Volkswagen ID.3

Launched in 2020 as the first fully-electric vehicle to join the Volkswagen family, the ID.3 scored a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating in October – an impressive feat given that 2020’s testing protocols are the toughest ever and the most exacting in the world.

The ID.3 was the highest overall scorer of the year across all vehicles tested, performing consistently across all areas of assessment. Its Safety Award success marks the first time Volkswagen has won the category.

It was the top scorer with 88% in the Safety Assist category, thanks to the performance of its collision-avoidance systems like Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), lane departure support and standard-fit multi-collision braking which prevents secondary impacts after an initial collision.

The ID.3’s robust structural integrity combined with the latest in restraint technology – including side protection airbags to prevent occupants’ heads from colliding – also helped it to a strong score in the Adult Protection (87%) assessment and a top score of 89% for Child Protection.

Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research’s director of insurance research, said: “The ID.3 is an impressive car, scoring highly in all Euro NCAP assessment categories.

“It’s particularly rewarding to see such a strong performing, all-electric car from a mainstream manufacturer like Volkswagen. As part of the growing ID family, with the ID.4 just around the corner, this is a car that represents the brand’s motoring future and will therefore be a popular vehicle on our roads.

“It’s affordable, green, totally brand-new and can be relied upon to effectively avoid collisions and protect its occupants and other road users in the event of an accident. It ticks a lot of boxes and is therefore a worthy Safety Award winner.”

What Car? Safety Award 2021
Runners Up


The first runner-up in the Safety Award is Toyota’s fourth-generation Yaris which impressed as a supermini that represents good value for money. It’s crash avoidance credentials are strong, having scored 85% for Safety Assist, while its 78% score in the Vulnerable Road User assessment category means it also offers good protection to other road users.

Matthew Avery said: “The battle for first runner-up spot was close between the Toyota Yaris and the SEAT Leon. The Yaris won through because of its stronger scores in the Vulnerable Road User and Safety Assist categories. From an affordability perspective, the Yaris performs better when preventing accidents and protecting those it shares the road with.”



The SEAT Leon is the second runner-up. It’s 92% score for Adult Occupant protection was the highest achieved during 2020 Euro NCAP safety testing, with the car’s performance in frontal and lateral impacts a highlight.

Matthew Avery said: “This is an affordable small family car that offers sound safety performance across the board. Its Adult Occupant protection score was the benchmark for the year and the introduction of a centre airbag to prevent occupant-to-occupant interaction in a side impact supported that result. The presence of a multi-collision braking system is also a useful addition as standard.”

“The great news for consumers is that the ID.3 comes with the latest safety equipment as standard. All versions have a comprehensive AEB system that will prevent or mitigate crashes, and all ID.3s also have an additional airbag between the front seats that activates in a side-on collision to stop those in the car from injuring each other.

"Both of these technologies are integral in keeping driver and passengers safer than ever."

Consumer Editor of What Car? Magazine