To borrow an old cliché, the latest round of EuroNCAP's independent crash testing has proven a smashing success.

Five of the six cars tested achieved the maximum five-star safety rating, the only exception being the Isuzu D-Max (KB), which still mustered a credible four star rating.

This new Isuzu is due in South Africa next year, and its crash performance is a huge improvement on the current generation D-Max/KB, which mustered just two stars with on star 'struck through' for its rather dismal occupant protection.

At least three of the latest batch of five-star cars -the new Renault Clio, Audi A3 and Volvo V40 - are set to reach our shores even sooner than the Isuzu. This round of testing also included the new Ford B-Max and Kia Cee'd.

The fact that these cars are still achieving five-star results is a testament to the strides made in pedestrian protection - something EuroNCAP is now factoring into its overall score.

VOLVO SHINES

A particularly good achievement here comes from the Volvo V40, which is equipped with a pedestrian airbag. The V40 is also EuroNCAP's highest scorer of all time in its segment.

All vehicles are subjected to a range of crash tests. These comprise a 64km/h frontal impact, 50km/h car-to-car side impact, a 29km/h side impact with a pole and a 40km/h replication of child and adult pedestrians striking the bonnet.

In addition to the usual 'adult' dummies, EuroNCAP also performs its frontal testing with 'child' dummies (representing 18-month and three-year-old) in car seats.

The overall score that each car receives is also broken down into various categories, including one that takes into account the fitment of active safety systems such as traction control.

LATEST RESULTS:

Audi A3 - 5 stars

Adult occupant: 95%

Child occupant: 87%

Pedestrian: 74%

Safety assist: 86%

Ford B-Max - 5 stars

Adult occupant: 92%

Child occupant: 84%

Pedestrian: 67%

Safety assist: 71%

Isuzu D-Max - 4 stars

Adult occupant: 83%

Child occupant: 67%

Pedestrian: 51%

Safety assist: 71%

Kia Cee'd - 5 stars

Adult occupant: 89%

Child occupant: 88%

Pedestrian: 61%

Safety assist: 86%

Renault Clio - 5 stars

Adult occupant: 88%

Child occupant: 89%

Pedestrian: 66%

Safety assist: 99%

Volvo V40 - 5 stars

Adult occupant: 98%

Child occupant: 75%

Pedestrian: 88%

Safety assist: 100%