Crash safety testers have named the safest new cars put on sale this year.
As part of its annual testing programme Euro NCAP compiles a list of its Best in Class cars – for those that have outperformed all other models based on its stringent procedures.
This year three models were highlighted as being worthy of the best in class title thanks to exceptional driver and passenger protection, advanced driver assistance systems and protection for vulnerable road users.
The Mercedes A-Class was ranked the safest small family car by the testing body and was also named as this yearâ€™s overall best performer.
The compact executive model scored 96 per cent for its adult occupant protection and 91 per cent for child protection. It also achieved a 92 per cent approval for vulnerable road user protection and 75 per cent for its standard-fit safety assist systems.
Also picked out by Euro NCAP was the Hyundai Nexo, which was identified as the best â€œlarge off-roaderâ€.
The Korean brandâ€™s hydrogen fuel cell vehicle actually outranked the Mercedes on the performance of its safety assistance system – scoring 80 per cent. However, its overall protection ratings were slightly lower – 94 per cent for adult occupants, 87 for children and 67 for other road users.
The Lexus ES was the third car deemed worthy of a best in class label, for the large family car category.
The all-new hybrid saloon from the luxury brand also claimed Euro NCAPâ€™s new award for best performing hybrid or electric car.
It scored 91 per cent for adult occupant protection, 87 per cent for child occupants and 90 per cent for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. Its safety assist systems merited a 77 per cent rating.
Tough new tests
Commenting on the awards, Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen said: â€œIn 2018 we introduced tough new tests, with a particular focus on vulnerable road user protection.
â€œThe three best in class award winners this year all clearly demonstrate that car-makers are striving for the highest levels of protection and that Euro NCAPâ€™s assessments are a catalyst for these crucial safety improvements.
â€œEuro NCAP put automated driving technology to the test in 2018 for the first time and our findings helped clarify some of the confusion motoring consumers are currently experiencing.
â€œAssisted driving systems can bring safety and convenience benefits but full automation is a long way off. We will follow and assess these developments closely and ensure that consumers have all the information they need when considering these new driver technologies.â€