Euro NCAP awards 2016's 'Best in Class' cars

Brussels - In 2016, Euro NCAP tested 18 new passenger cars and four heavy quadricycles and today announces some of the year’s highlights.

Three cars, all sold in Europe, were awarded ‘Best in Class’: the Toyota Prius in the ‘Large Family Car’ category; the Hyundai Ioniq in the ‘Small Family Car’ category; and the Volkswagen Tiguan is the best ‘Small Off-Roader’ of 2016. 

Automatic emergency braking

2016 saw the introduction of some significant changes to Euro NCAP’s ratings scheme. The inclusion of tests for pedestrian-detecting autobrake systems drove a huge increase in fitment of this life-saving technology, mostly as standard equipment but also as an option.

READ: SA's safest cars for less than R150 000 revealed

The Toyota Prius, winner in the large family car category, was the first car to undergo tests of its AEB Pedestrian technology. Its standard-fitted safety pack, ‘Toyota Safety Sense’, performed well and managed to recognise and avoid or mitigate potential crashes with pedestrians. 

Watch: Euro NCAP Best in Class Cars of 2016


While ‘Best in Class’ is based only on cars with standard safety equipment, several car manufacturers took advantage of Euro NCAP’s new ‘dual rating’ system in 2016. In addition to a star rating indicating the safety of a car with only standard safety equipment, a second rating demonstrates the benefits of optional safety equipment.

The 10 safest cars on sale in the UK 

In general, the optional ‘safety pack’ includes AEB, including pedestrian-detecting auto-brake systems, and the scheme was used for 'superminis', 'small family cars' and one 'pickup' – competitive segments that might well otherwise have missed out on advanced driver assistance technologies.

Safe cars for the masses

Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen said, "Some technologies are expensive and we recognised that it may not be possible for manufacturers to include them as standard equipment across the range and, at the same time, keep basic variants affordable for the target market.

"The dual rating scheme lets them phase in sales more gradually, keeping cars affordable but, at the same time, giving consumers the chance to take advantage of these important safety technologies. We’re pleased to see such a broad uptake of pedestrian-detecting AEB systems in 2016, as standard or as an option."

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