Smaller cars are getting safer for their occupants, the RAC Foundation said after results of the latest phase of Euro NCAP crash testing were revealed.

Euro NCAP's Phase 15 results featured the Renault Modus - the first car classed as a supermini to receive the coveted five-star rating for occupant protection.

The Citroën C4 - classified as a small family car - performed particularly well in the testing programme, scoring five stars for occupant protection, four stars for child protection and a creditable three stars for pedestrian protection.

The Seat Altea - classified as a small MPV (minivan) - was also well rated, scoring five stars for occupant protection, four stars for child protection and three stars for pedestrian protection.

The Citroën C5 - classified as a large family car - performed particularly well in the tests.

The Euro NCAP Phase 15 ratings tested 13 new models and re-tested one model previously tested.

Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Occupants of smaller vehicles are now demanding optimum safety standards. It is not merely a right reserved for those that can afford executive vehicles.

"The Ford Focus, Renault Modus, Citroën C4 and Seat Altea have performed particularly well in terms of occupant and child protection.

"We are delighted that the Citroën C4 and the Seat Altea also offer an enhanced level of protection for pedestrians and cyclists.

"It is a great shame that nine of the 14 models tested achieved just one star (out of four) for pedestrian safety. We believe that the public will be demanding more when they make their choice of new vehicle."