Euro NCAP has released its final safety ratings of 2021, with seven out of the 11 new cars tested achieving a top rating of five stars. At the opposite end of the scale, one car achieved zero stars and another gained one star.
Euro NCAP organizes crash and safety tests on new vehicles and provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe.
Find out more below:
The 5-star winners in this batch range from affordable supermini and small MPV to high-end executive electric cars. Despite having different powertrains and price tickets, all five-star cars performed very well overall in terms of crash protection and crash avoidance.
There are stand-out performances from the new Nissan Qashqai in the area of safety assist and the Mercedes-EQS for adult and child occupant protection. Fiat’s electric supermini, the 500e, and the all-new MG Marvel R, also both put in strong performances and achieved commendable four-star ratings:
MG Marvel R
As consumers are nudged from all sides to switch to battery electric cars, it is no surprise that some car manufactures are launching more affordable products on the market that can appeal to a wider audience. Renault has been amongst the first to successfully capture the market with the all-electric Zoe in 2013.
The new Zoe, a facelift introduced in 2020, received several battery improvements but no added safety. On the contrary, the seat-mounted side airbag which previously protected head and thorax has been replaced by a less effective thorax-only airbag, representing a degradation in occupant protection. The new Zoe offers poor protection in crashes overall, poor vulnerable road user protection and lacks meaningful crash avoidance technology, disqualifying it for any stars:
Unfortunately, things do not fare much better for Renault’s no-frills sub-brand Dacia. The full electric Spring, marketed as a brand new vehicle, is heavily based on the Chinese-made Renault City K-ZE, itself a derivative of the troublesome Renault Kwid, sold in India and Brazil for several years.
Dacia has staunch supporters across Europe: car buyers who appreciate the low entry prices and steer clear of “useless features” in their car. However, with the Spring, the “masters of frugal engineering” have launched a product that goes beyond no-frills.
Its performance in crash tests is downright problematic, with a high risk of life-threatening injuries for driver chest and rear passenger head in frontal crash tests and marginal chest protection in side impact. The mediocre crash performance and poor crash avoidance technology results in one star rating for Dacia Spring:
Michiel van Ratingen Secretary General of Euro NCAP, says: ” “Renault was once synonymous with safety. The Laguna was the first car to get five stars, back in 2001. But these disappointing results for the Zoe and the Dacia Spring show that safety has now become collateral damage in the group’s transition to electric cars.
“It is cynical to offer the consumer an affordable green car if it comes at the price of higher injury risk in the event of an accident.”
Euro NCAP 2021 safety ratings
Here’s the full Euro NCAP ratings for 2021’s new car releases: