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If you’re in the market for a new family car, chances are that safety is at the top of your list. In 2015, 140,086 personal injury road traffic accidents were reported to the police, resulting in 16,101 child casualties. No surprise then that more and more families are choosing their next car based on safety, rather than more conventional features such as style, space or performance. 

If safety is at the top of your new car checklist, it’s worth checking out the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) safety rating before you lease or buy. A Euro NCAP test evaluates a car’s safety in four key areas: adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and safety assistance, to deliver an overall safety rating out of five. Since the test was launched in 1997, more than 78,000 lives have been saved and 9 out of 10 cars sold on the European market hold a Euro NCAP rating. 

With more than 400 new cars to choose from in UK, we understand that choosing your next family car can be a difficult choice. To make life a little easier, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts has put together a list of ten of the safest car for young families based on their Euro NCAP safety rating.

1. Alfa Romeo Giulia

The Alfa Romeo Giulia received the highest adult occupant protection score (98%) of any car tested in the family car sector by Euro NCAP in 2016, 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 Alfa Romeo Giulia not only looks good on the road but is also one of the safest cars in its class.

2. Volkswagen Tiguan

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 2016, the Volkswagen Tiguan achieved a 96% adult occupant score and an 84% child occupant score, making the Tiguan one of Europe’s safest new 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.

3. Mercedes E Class Saloon

Thanks to its innovative safety technology and robust overall construction, the Mercedes E-Class Saloon is one of the safest cars in its class with a five star overall Euro NCAP rating. Boasting an impressive adult occupant protection score of 95%, along with a 90% score for child occupant protection and 77% score for pedestrian protection, the 5-door Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon combines cutting-edge safety technology with first-class levels of comfort, making it a popular choice for business users and growing families alike.

4. SEAT Ateca

If you’re looking for a compact SUV that’s great to drive and safe on the road, check out the all-new SEAT Ateca. With a maximum five star rating, the SEAT Ateca 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 84%. What’s more, the SEAT Ateca also comes with a variety of safety features as standard, such as airbags for both front and side impacts.

5. Toyota Prius


toyota prius

The Toyota Prius continued its five star run from 2004 and 2009 by scoring the maximum five stars in the 2016 Euro NCAP safety tests. With a 92% score in adult occupation, along with an 82% score in child occupant protection, the Toyota Prius continues to set the standard in the Large Family Car sector. The latest generation model also boasts Toyota’s ‘Safety Sense’ package comes as standard which adds an impressive list of safety features such as EBD, Brake Assist, tyre pressure warning and Pre Crash System.

6. Kia Niro

Giving the Toyota Prius a run for its money in the hybrid market is the all-new Kia Niro. With the added Advanced Driving Assistance Safety Pack, which adds ABS, active front headrests, automatic unlocking of doors in case of impact and curtain airbags, the Kia Niro receives a five star Euro NCAP rating (four stars for standard models without the safety pack)

7. Renault Scenic

Renault has built a strong reputation over the past few years for safety so it’s no surprise that the Renault Scenic makes the cut in the competitive MPV market. 

With an overall five star rating and an impressive 90% in adult occupant protection, the Renault Scenic not only boasts space and style but safety too. Add impressive safety technology such as emergency braking system, lane-departure warning and lane keeping assistance into the mix and you’re onto a winner.

8. Audi A4

Alongside an overall Euro NCAP safety rating of five stars, the Audi A4 was also named Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 

In the 2009 tests, the A4 scored an 93% score for adult occupant protection and 84% for child occupant protection thanks to standard features such as 3 point rear seatbelts, ABS/EBD, adaptive driver and front passenger airbags and electromechanical parking brake. Add plenty of space and practicality into the mix and the A4 makes an ideal family car.

9. Hyundai Santa Fe

With its five-year warranty and great safety features, the Hyundai Santa Fe is a popular choice for families in the competitive SUV market.

When it was tested by Euro NCAP in 2012, the Santa Fe received the maximum five-star rating with a 96% score in the adult occupant protection category and an 89% for child occupant protection.

10. Hyundai Ioniq

Finally, taking the final spot in our list of the safest family cars is the all-new Hyundai Ioniq which has been given the maximum five stars from Euro NCAP. 

With a 91% adult occupant score, an 80% child occupant protection score and 82% in the safety assistance category, the Hyundai Ioniq is one of the safest family cars on the market and also comes with a wide range of safety features such as seven airbags and blind spot monitoring. 

However, except 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.
Keeping Your Family Safe Top Tips For Keeping Your Child Safe In The Car
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