Each year, Euro NCAP tests dozens of cars to give buyers the best picture of which ones are the safest.
While the crash testing is the most eye-catching aspect, as vehicles are launched into walls to see how well they protect occupants, the tests are actually a lot more complex than that.
Cars are given a five-star rating, which takes the crash test performance as well as ratings for various different areas such as their safety assistance technology and how collisions affect vulnerable road users.
Of the 33 cars tested last year, 22 were given the full five stars – but now Euro NCAP has brought in the new year by highlighting the safest cars from the past 12 months.
One of the top scorers was the Mercedes-EQ EQS, which won in both the electric vehicle and executive vehicle segments. The German firm’s flagship EV got excellent scores of 96 per cent and 91 per cent in adult occupants and child occupant segments, as well as 80 per cent for safety assist.
An honourable mention should also go to the Polestar 2, which achieved the runner-up position in both these segments.
Two more electric vehicles topped the large off-road vehicle group, with the Skoda Enyaq iV beating the BMW iX. This feat is made all the more impressive by the fact the Skoda costs considerably less.
The Toyota Yaris Cross beat the Volkswagen Caddy to the small MPV title, while the Nissan Qashqai beat the Volkswagen ID.4 to the small off-road vehicle win. Finally, the Skoda Fabia won small family car, with no runner-up announced.
Dr. Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP Secretary General, said: “2021 was a tough year for the car industry: a shortage of parts, semiconductors in particular, was the sting in the tail of the Covid crisis, affecting development timelines, production and sales.
“Still, we saw quite a number of new car models coming to the market, many of them electric or hybrid, and many of them achieving five-star ratings despite the demanding requirements. Well done to the winners as well as to the runners-up, some of which were very close contenders for the top slot in their respective categories.”