While car makers are increasingly concerned about electrification, technology and connectivity, safety remains right at the forefront when a vehicle is being designed.
Each year, safety organisation Euro NCAP puts a whole host of models through various crash tests to assess their safety, with 2022 said to have been one of its busiest years.
It’s now rounded up its ‘best in class’ cars of the year, which are based on their results in the four key protection classes – adult occupant, child occupant, vulnerable road users and safety assist. Here are the safest cars tested in 2022.
Small family car – Ora Funky Cat
Small car safety has improved dramatically in recent years, with many compact models more than able to hold their own next to larger vehicles. Taking top honours in this category is the unusually-named Ora Funky Cat.
It was one of many Chinese cars tested by Euro NCAP in 2022, with the Funky Cat being one of the first to make its way to Europe. This compact electric hatchback outperformed many other well-established players, and impressed NCAP by being ‘exceptionally well-equipped’ when it came to safety features. The Ora Funky Cat is already available in the UK, offers a 193-mile range and is priced from £31,995.
Large family car – Hyundai Ioniq 6
The only well-established brand to be included in the safest cars of 2022 list came from Hyundai with its striking new Ioniq 6. It’s the brand’s first electric saloon, and comes packed with technology, while its streamlined shape enables a range of up to 338 miles.
Euro NCAP was particularly impressed with it, saying it ‘achieved exceptionally high results’, particularly in the adult occupant protection category, where it scored a 97 per cent rating. In various individual assessments looking at child protection in the case of a crash, it also scored maximum points.
Executive car – Tesla Model S
While Tesla’s heavily-updated Model S isn’t actually available yet in the UK, it’s already looking very positive for this electric saloon. While the Model S itself will have soon been around for a decade, it’s still leading the way, and was classed as the best model in the ‘Pure Electric’ category, which considering all but one model on this list are EVs, makes it the safest car tested in the year.
Euro NCAP called it a ‘high achiever’, and applauded the 98 per cent score in adult occupant protection rating. The updated Model S boasts an extreme ‘Plaid’ model, boasting more than 1,000bhp and a claimed range of 396 miles. It’s expected to be available to order later in 2023.
Small SUV – Tesla Model Y
Tesla did impressively well in Euro NCAP’s testing in 2022, with the brand’s new Model Y SUV also being named as a best-in-class model in the hugely popular small SUV segment, though the jury is out on whether this car really can be classed as ‘small’.
Nevertheless, the Model Y mirrored the S’ 98 per cent adult occupant protection rating, and was a star performer. Considering this Tesla was the third most popular new car in the UK in 2022, this safety rating helps it to bode well.
Large SUV – Wey Coffee 01
Winner of the large SUV category is another Chinese car that you will have likely never have heard of before – the Wey Coffee 01. Unlike other models on this list, it’s not an EV, but instead a plug-in hybrid, and an impressive one at that. Its 469bhp powertrain offered strong performance, while a huge battery gives it a claimed electric range of 90 miles – almost triple that of plenty of other hybrid SUVs.
Euro NCAP said this Wey model ‘performed well in all categories’ too. While set to be introduced to Europe first in Germany, there are hopes that the model will be introduced to the UK in the future.