A3, Sorento and Defender cruise to five-star crash test scores

A3, Sorento and Defender cruise to five-star crash test scores

A fleet of new cars, including the Audi A3, Land Rover Defender and Kia Sorento have all cruised to five-star Euro NCAP crash test scores. Results released by the independent safety body show all three cars fared well across all the areas tested, with the A3 managing an impressive 89-percent score for adult occupant protection.

All three new models managed solid scores in adult occupant protection, with the A3 proving the safest for adults in a crash. However, the Sorento and Defender performed slightly better when it comes to child safety, scoring 85 percent compared with the A3’s 81 percent.

While the squared off Sorento scored 63 percent for vulnerable road user protection, the equally chunky Defender, which was tested in long-wheelbase ‘110’ guise, managed an even more respectable 71 percent. Remarkably, the big, boxy Defender outscored the A3 when it comes to protecting pedestrians and cyclists.

But it was the A3’s sister car, the Seat Leon, that stole the show with a very creditable 92-percent adult occupant protection score. The Spanish hatchback also outperformed its German cousin in every field on its way to a five-star rating.

However, the news was slightly less rosy for two new city cars, with the Honda E and Hyundai i10 both falling short of expectations. The little E electric car managed a respectable four-star score, while the i10 laboured to a disappointing three-star result. Generally speaking, the E’s scores were solid if unremarkable, with the biggest criticism a fear that rear occupants could be flung across the narrow city car in the event of a side-on collision.

However, the i10’s scores were even more underwhelming, with a range of issues cutting its score. Each problem seems minor on paper, but they combined to result in a 69-percent score for adult occupant protection. Add that to a 52-percent rating for vulnerable road user protection and a 59-percent score for safety assistance tech, and the i10 slumped to a ropy three-star rating.

At the opposite end of the scale, Japanese commercial vehicle specialists Isuzu will be celebrating a five-star score for the D-Max pick-up truck. The two-tonne truck scored well across the board on its way to achieving a top grade.

The results will be particularly pleasing for Isuzu after Euro NCAP’s secretary-general, Michiel van Ratingen, said the testing process had been bolstered for 2020, with a new barrier in place to assess performance.

“Poor crash compatibility between vehicles has been a problem for years,” he said. “Now, in 2020, we have a frontal test which can assess how a vehicle performs in this regard and can penalise those cars that perform poorly. This is a first for safety assessment and should lead to better, more compatible designs in the future.”

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