Euro NCAP’s fifth and last launch of 2011 presents the results for fourteen new cars including 3 4×4 SUVs. Jeep Grand Cherokee achieved four stars, while the Range Rover Evoque and Subaru XV were awarded the top safety rating of five stars.
The Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) safety performance test is the industry standard across the continent and one of the most rigorous programmes in the world. As part of Euro NCAP Advanced’s mission to reward advanced systems, the safety organization has assessed a number of new technologies offered on recently tested models. The latest crossover vehicle from the Japanese All-Wheel-Drive specialists scored particularly highly in the occupant protection category and was praised for its full complement of safety equipment. The XV benefits from Subaru’s symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system, as well as the introduction of an advanced impact energy relay structure, ensuring the driver and passengers are well-protected in the event of a collision. This modern design makes use of high-tensile steel to improve safety and reduce weight throughout the car. Dual front and side airbags are also standard, with driver’s knee, curtain and torso airbags ensuring the car scored maximum points for side protection. VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control – Subaru’s version of ESP), which provides greater stability through the use of sensors throughout the AWD system, is also provided as standard across the XV model range. The Range Rover Evoque with a five-star overall safety rating scored 86% in the adult occupant tests, 75% in child occupant tests, 41% in pedestrian safety tests, and 86% on the ‘safety assist’ portion of the review. The only 4 star rated SUV, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, in the event of a frontal impact, the driver’s inboard seat rail broke nearly into two parts and was mainly held together by the threaded steel rod controlling fore-aft adjustment of the seat. The break occurred just at the point where the lower anchorage for the driver’s seat belt attaches to the rail, and experts assume that the cause were the high tensile forces in the belt during the test. As a result, there was additional forward movement of the dummy which contributed to ‘bottoming out’ of the airbag i.e. there was insufficient pressure in the airbag to prevent the driver’s head from making contact, through the fabric of the airbag, with the steering wheel rim,” Euro NCAP says. Additionally during the frontal impact, the child dummy representing a three year old did not move forward excessively. However, on rebound, the dummy’s head contacted the trim on the rear door pillar and the car lost all points for protection in that test.