Brussels, Belgium - Volkswagen’s all-new Polo hatchback, which is due in South Africa early next year and almost certain to become one of the country's best selling cars, has achieved a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating.

Although its predecessor was also awarded five stars, attaining the maximum rating has become somewhat harder since then as active safety features that help to prevent accidents are now also factored into the overall score.

The latest Polo does not fall short in that respect, with even the most basic of models (in Europe) coming with features such as autonomous emergency braking. It's not yet known at this stage which features will be fitted to SA models.

In the actual crash testing component of the assessment, which is arguably more important as active safety features can’t save your bacon in every scenario, the Polo achieved an impressive Adult Occupant rating of 96 percent.

It also scored 85 percent for child safety, 76 percent for pedestrian protection and 59 percent for the aforementioned active safety aspects.

According to EuroNCAP, the Polo’s passenger compartment remained stable in the frontal offset test, with dummy readings indicating good protection of the knees and femurs of the driver and passenger. 

Furthermore, the VW scored maximum points in the side barrier test as well as the more severe side pole impact, offering strong protection to all body regions. How safe local models prove to be, however, will depend on whether VWSA fits curtain-level airbags across the range.

Five stars across the board

EuroNCAP also announced its ratings for seven other new vehicles, and all of them achieved the maximum five star rating:

Citroen C3 Aircross

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Opel Crossland X

Seat Arona

Skoda Karoq

Volkswagen T-Roc

Volvo XC60

The Volvo proved most impressive of all, becoming the best all-round performer of 2017, according to EuroNCAP, and matching the performance of its larger XC90 sibling with a near-perfect score of 98 percent for adult occupant protection.

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