THE new Volvo XC40 and the Ford Focus have both scored the maximum five-star safety rating for Euro NCAP in July.
With the XC40, assessed by Thatcham Research, Volvo has entered the expanding compact SUV arena for the first time and achieved one of the highest Adult Occupation Protection scores (97%) seen in the past three years.
Thatcham’s research director Matthew Avery said: This is yet another benchmark car from Volvo.
“The XC40 is built on Volvo’s new small vehicle platform, but there are no signs of compromise on safety, despite the challenges this segment presents to delivering optimal crash protection.
“Not only has the Volvo XC40 registered one of the highest Adult Occupant Protection scores of the past three years but it has done so in Euro NCAP’s toughest tests to date – and all in a small package.”
Its 85 per cent score for Adult Occupant Protection means the Ford Focus also offers solid performance in the event of a crash.
It also achieved an impressive Safety Assist score – rating highly for standard-fit crash avoidance technology.
Avery added: “The Ford Fiesta was the only car of five launched in 2017 by Ford that achieved more than a three-star Euro NCAP rating.
“It’s refreshing that Ford has upped its safety game for a likely top seller like the Focus. The one disappointment was seeing lost points for protection against whiplash – the most common injury sustained in impacts.”
By comparison, the average Adult Occupant Protection score across the five cars released by Ford in 2017 was 76 per cent.
In addition to existing ‘full overlap’ impact scenarios, ‘offset’ collisions were introduced into the Euro NCAP regime for 2018, broadening the scope of testing to cover more real-world crash situations.
Full overlap refers to all of the front of a car impacting with all of the rear-end of another, while offset scenarios test Autonomous Emergency Braking performance where only a portion of the car’s rear-end becomes a collision threat.
Avery added: “This year we have introduced an offset target into AEB testing. We can now assess a wider range of front to rear-end impact scenarios, for example those that occur while navigating a roundabout.
“In this situation, an early AEB system might assume that a car which is out of alignment will continue to move out of the way and is therefore not a collision threat.
“It’s a challenging scenario for any AEB system, but both the Ford Focus and Volvo XC40 showed strong performance in the new tests.”
In March this year, the XC40 was named 2018 European Car of the Year, the first Volvo to win the prestigious award, and it has since been one of Volvo’s top sellers.
The company also announced in May that it would expand production in its manufacturing facilities in both Europe and China to meet the overwhelming demand for the car.