Brussels - EuroNCAP has released its latest batch of crash test results, and the news is mostly positive (see bottom of story for five-star results), but two cars have been given a serious finger-wagging, with the Jeep Wrangler achieving just one star and the Fiat Panda scoring zero.
That does not however mean that they are blatantly unsafe in the same way as the South African spec Nissan’s NP300 that was recently crash tested by Global NCAP.
Euro NCAP’s standards are simply different and the European crash test authority places a far bigger priority on advanced safety tech of the kind that could prevent you from having an accident in the first place - such as auto braking and lane assist functions, items which are regarded as luxuries in countries like South Africa.
Jeep Wrangler - 1 Star
This is largely what relegated the all-new Jeep Wrangler to the one-star bin - its only ‘active’ safety features being a seatbelt reminder and driver-set speed limiter.
When it came to the actual crash tests, however, the Jeep was not as bad as its rating might suggest - although with an adult occupant protection score of 50 percent, there is still plenty of room for improvement in that regard.
“In the frontal offset test, protection of all critical body areas was good or adequate except that of the neck of the 10-year-old child, where dummy readings of tensile forces indicated weak protection,” Euro NCAP stated with regard to the Jeep.
“In the side barrier test, the head of the 10 year dummy contacted the car interior and protection was rated as marginal. The protection of all other critical body areas was good,” it added. The fitting of child seats also proved problematic in several cases.
Fiat Panda - 0 Stars
The Panda’s big sin is that its ‘safety assist’ arsenal includes nothing more than a seatbelt reminder.
However, in the frontal offset crash test the passenger compartment remained stable, with good protection for the knees and femurs, although chest protection was shown to be weak, as was the case for the dummy’s head and neck in the full-width rigid barrier test. Overall though, it only scored 45 percent for occupant protection in a crash, which is far from brilliant but perhaps not quite warranting a zero star rating.
However, these days it’s more about the ‘safety assist’ features, as Euro NCAP’s Michiel van Ratingen puts it:
“It is truly disappointing to see a brand-new car being put on sale in 2018 with no autonomous braking system and no lane assistance. It is high time we saw a product from the Fiat-Chrysler group offering safety to rival its competitors.”
Five stars for the rest
The other seven cars tested all received the maximum five-star rating:
Hyundai Santa Fe