When deciding which car to buy or lease, there are many things to consider - and safety should be one of them. Safety for you, your passengers, and your precious cargo!
Comfort, fuel economy, car emissions, infotainment, size and suitability all come into consideration, but the fact that you are driving a heavy piece of metal on a road with other drivers of heavy metal (some heavier and larger than others), often in an area that contains people not in metal, and at speeds that can be considered high even at their lowest, then the safety of both you and your passengers should be one of the most important.
As Car Buyer states in its review of safe cars, "Modern cars come with safety systems to protect us in the event of a crash. Some of these – like electronic stability programmes (ESP), ISOFIX child-seat mounts and anti-lock brakes (ABS) – are mandatory, while others – such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane-departure warning systems – don’t have to be fitted by law, but are becoming increasingly common."
The European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) helps us when we are deciding on our car's safety by assessing each new car in four key areas: adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and safety assistance that the car provides (including technology).
Each category gets a percentage score that helps to dictate the score that each car gets, with stars awarded to show just how safe they are.
All models in our list below got 5 stars (the top score), so take a look at our list below and see what we consider to be 10 of the safest cars that you can currently get to drive in the UK. (Cars arriving in 2017 are yet to be Euro NCAP assessed).
The Alfa Romeo Giulia got the highest adult occupant protection score of any car tested by Euro NCAP in 2015 or 2016, with 98%, and also did well in child occupancy too.
Featuring a forward collision warning system, lane departure warning system, rear parking sensors, electronic parking brake and autonomous emergency braking and lane-departure warning systems, as well as looking stylish, the Alfa Romeo Giulia allows you to drive safely whilst looking cool.
A 96% adult occupant score and an 84% child occupant score gives the Volkwagen Tiguan a high rating when it comes to safety, especially in front impact incidents, according to the Euro NCAP testers.
And when the Tiguan is involved in an accident with pedestrians, the ‘active’ bonnet rises up to protect pedestrians from stiff and hard engine components.
The list of safety features in the family-focused listed below helps to make the SUV not only a safe drive, but with a fine range of efficient petrol and diesel engines, a great driving experience too.
The Mercedes E-Class is one of the safest cars you can get, thanks to its safety technology and overall construction.
"The E-Class performs superbly in side-impact collisions and it also offers good protection to all occupants from whiplash in case of a rear impact."
Coming with Mercedes’ PRE-SAFE system, which predicts possible impacts and activates procedures to minimise occupant injury, the 5-door Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon combines cutting-edge safety technology with first-class levels of comfort, an outstanding range of equipment, and an extensive choice of advanced petrol and diesel engines to offer an impressive mix of performance, efficiency and safety.
The standard range of features and equipment is that of a higher premium car, and the safety features include:
With pick-up trucks proving to be a bit of a tax attraction for company car drivers, as our blog here explains, it makes sense for us to include one in our Top 10, and the Toyota Hilux is one of the safest cars on (and off) the road when it has the Toyota Safety Sense pack fitted. Without it, it's just a robust car with "an enviable reputation for toughness and quality." With it, it gets a Euro NCAP five-star rating.
As standard, pre Safety Sense pack, the Toyota Hilux features safety features like a driver and passenger airbag, driver knee airbag, front seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters, and side and curtain airbags. With the pack it adds in a Pre-Collision system, Lane Departure Alert and Road Sign Assist.
Available only with a 150PS 2.4 D4-D diesel engine, all Hilux models get switchable 4WD and an automatic braking system as standard, along with low ratio gearing.
The SEAT Ateca is another high scorer in Euro NCAP’s adult occupant assessment rating with 93%, the same as the Hilux, along with an 84% child occupant protection rating.
And there is also a stack of safety features as standard to add to an excellent drive and a robust build.
These features include:
The Toyota Prius scored maximum points in Euro NCAP's side-impact test, as well as 92% in adult occupation. It also got maximum points in the child occupant side-impact test, which helped the hybrid Toyota Prius score 82% for child occupant protection.
When it comes to the Prius, Toyota's ‘Safety Sense’ package comes as standard, which gives the car and impressive list of safety features, including:
Using Kia's optional Advanced Driving Assistance Safety Pack, the Niro gets 5 stars, so the list of safety features with it includes:
The appearance of the latest Renault Scenic on our list is no real surprise, considering the model's safety reputation, especially as the newset model comes with a full suite of automatic emergency braking systems and speed assistance as standard, while lane-keeping assistance is available as an option.
The 5-door MPV also offers a spacious, comfortable interior and an extensive range of advanced equipment such as an integrated latest-generation TomTom Live sat-nav fitted as standard.
And those safety features are pretty impressive too.
In a world of increasing numbers of SUVs on the road, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe is "a great example of a vehicle that has pushed the envelope after years in the middle of the pack." Again another award winner with the IIHS, it now includes: