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The Safest Cars For Young Families

In the UK, there are more than 500 car models to choose from and choosing your next car is a difficult decision based on a number of factors with safety being one of them. To make life a little easier, in stock lease car specialist, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, has put together a list of ten of the safest family cars based on Euro NCAP safety ratings. 

children in back of car

Euro NCAP is the European new car assessment programme and their performance assessment tests for car safety cover four categories: Adult occupant, Child occupant, Pedestrian protection and Safety assist, which evaluates driver assistance and crash avoidance technologies. The overall score is then used to produce a star rating with five stars awarded for the best safety and one star the lowest. Our selection of family cars all achieved the highest five star rating.

Top 10 Safest Family Cars for 2022


    1 Volvo XC40

    Volvo has a reputation for being one of the safest car manufacturers, ensuring passenger safety is a top priority in its car design and production process. So, it's no surprise to see the popular Volvo XC40 SUV on our list of safest family cars.  

    Tested following its launch in 2018, the XC40 scored an impressive 97% for adult protection, 87% for child protection and maintained high scores of 71% and 77% for pedestrian and safety assist protection.

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  2. blue nissan qashqai driving on road

    2 Nissan Qashqai

    The Nissan Qashqai scored highly across all categories, notably on safety assist with a score of 95%, the highest of any car tested in the family car sector by Euro NCAP in 2021, gaining an overall rating of the maximum five stars. 

    Featuring a forward collision warning system, lane departure warning system, rear parking sensors, electronic parking brake and autonomous emergency braking, the Nissan Qashqai not only looks good on the road but is also one of the safest cars in its class.

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  3. white volkswagen taigo driving on road

    3 Volkswagen Taigo

    Another Volkswagen to score highly for safety is the new Volkswagen Taigo. Tested in 2022, the Taigo scored highly for adult and child occupants, with 94% and 84% respectively, making it one of the safest compact family SUVs available. 

    It's pedestrian score was a respectable 71% and safety assist was 70%, ensuring the Taigo achieved the top five-star rating awarded by Euro NCAP.

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  4. blue Audi Q4 e-tron driving on road

    4 Audi Q4 e-tron Estate

    With a host of new EV electric vehicles scoring highly in 2021 and 2022, our best safety pick of large family SUV is the electric Audi Q4 e-tron. It achieved five-star status when tested in 2021 with a 94% score in adult occupation, along with an 89% score in child occupant protection.

    While the Q4 e-tron scored less well in pedestrian safety at 66%, it achieved a respectable 80% for safety assist thanks to its innovative Audi Pre sense front safety, turn assist and collision avoidance systems.

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  5. black cupra formentor

    5 Cupra Formentor

    If you’re looking for a sporty SUV that’s great to drive and safe on the road, check out the all-new Cupra Formentor. With a maximum five-star rating from 2021, the Cupra Formentor is one of the safest family cars in its class, boasting a strong adult occupant protection score of 93% and a child occupant protection rating of an 88%. 

    Standard safety features include front assist with autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection and e-call which calls emergency services in the event of a heavy collision.

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  6. black hyundai tucson

    6 Hyundai Tucson

    The new Hyundai Tucson delivered a strong set of test results following NCAP testing in 2021, assuring five-star status. Scoring 86% and 87% for adult and child occupants, 66% for pedestrian protection and 76% for safety assist.

    With seven airbags as standard, high beam assist, blind spot monitor and high way drive assist with collision avoidance technology, the new Tucson is a recommended choice for young and old families alike.

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  7. red nissan juke

    7 Nissan Juke

    Another five-star car winner from Nissan is the next-generation Nissan Juke. The latest compact SUV scored the highest five-star rating with 94% for adult occupants, 85% for children, a commendable 81% for pedestrians and 73% for safety assist. 

    Of note is Nissan's intelligent mobility innovation with cyclist and pedestrian detection and robust high strength vehicle structure for crash protection.

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  8. blue volkswagen golf driving on road

    8 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback

    The latest generation Volkswagen Golf was tested in 2019 and five-star status was assured with strong scores across all categories - 95% for adult occupants, 89% for child, 76% for pedestrian and 78% for safety assistance technologies. 

    Three innovative features we like include the intelligent crash response system, which activates in the event of an airbag deploying and switches the hazard lights on, turns off the fuel pump and unlocks the doors. The second useful feature is the tyre pressure monitor, and thirdly is the automatic post collision braking system, which activates the braking system to reduce the chance of additional impacts.

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  9. A Front Exterior View of Red Volkswagen Tiguan

    9 Volkswagen Tiguan

    With an overall Euro NCAP rating of the maximum five-stars and innovative safety features such as Volkswagen’s ‘active’ bonnet, which helps protect pedestrians in the event of an accident by lifting the bonnet to protect the body from stiff and hard engine components, the Volkswagen Tiguan remains a popular choice for growing families. 

    In NCAP safety tests, the Volkswagen Tiguan achieved a 96% adult occupant score and an 84% child occupant score, making the Tiguan one of Europe’s safest cars. The Tiguan also boasts a first-class package of safety features, including a highly effective safety belt, seat and airbag combination and innovative driver assistance systems.

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  10. Blue Ford Focus Exterior

    10 Ford Focus Hatchback

    As its safety features are second to none, the all-new Ford Focus has been given a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating in latest tests. It uses a front camera to aid its active breaking, pre-collision assist and pedestrian detection technology, all systems alert the driver of potential hazards and if the driver doesn’t respond the system will automatically apply pressure to the brake. 

    The Ford Focus also includes a comprehensive list of other safety features – from ISOFIX child seat attachment points, a tyre pressure monitoring system and electronic stability control to eCall and driver and passenger front and side airbags.

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What features to look for in a family car

Outside of the Euro NCAP rating and the features that help to avoid accidents, it is worth checking other features that can keep your family safe in non-traffic situations.

It is important a car to have rear view cameras. Rear view cameras and front and rear park assist systems are must-have features to ensure visibility.

Also another important feature to look into is auto reverse on all power windows and doors. Cars have locks that can prevent a child from operating a power window, but children may put their hands out while the driver is putting the window up. Auto reverse stops and retracts the window, lessening the possible injury.

For automatic cars, it is important to look for cars with a transmission shift interlock. That mechanism makes it impossible to put a car into gear without having a foot on the brake, something that’s tough for small kids to do.

Also it is worth to consider cars with a rear-seat seat belt reminder that chimes when rear passengers aren’t buckled in. Squirmy kids can undo their seat belts, and without a reminder chime or indicator light, a parent would never know.

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