Results of the third round of Euro NCAP safety crash tests for 2022 saw the Kia EV6, Mercedes C-Class, Volvo C40 Recharge and VW Multivan from Volkswagen all receive five star ratings.

The Opel/Vauxhall Astra and Peugeot 308 rated four stars.

The sixth generation Astra and third generation 308 are both based on the Stellantis EMP2 platform and, unsurprisingly, scored very similarly across all four areas of assessment.

Both the offset test and the full width crash test highlighted marginal chest injury protection for average male and small female drivers, and neither car was equipped with a centre airbag for far side crash protection, a countermeasure which is increasingly common on modern cars. Both cars offer plenty of crash avoidance technology but do not include some of the latest advancements introduced in the market. The four star ratings apply also to the PHEV variants.

All of the five star cars demonstrated excellent crash protection with scores of 90% or more, compared to 76% and 80% for the Stellantis cars.

This dispelled the notion the difference between five and four stars is always due to ADAS, although that is often also the case. The cars showed consistently good results for child occupant protection as well. The largest differences between the EV6, C-Class, C40 Recharge and Multivan were found in VRU protection, in particular front end performance, where the C-Class, fitted with an active bonnet, outperformed the EV6 by a significant margin.

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On overall assistance technology, the C40 Recharge came out on top. Despite its somewhat different, boxy shape, the Multivan put in a solid all round result which was on par with the cars tested.

Car-to-X Communication, part of the optional Mercedes-me service, was given a Euro NCAP Advanced reward.

The system uses data from other vehicles to provide an early warning, via a cloud-based service, of potential hazards in a car’s vicinity before they could otherwise be detected.

Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP, said in a statement: “On the whole, we see good scores for crash protection which is, of course, reassuring. But crash avoidance is as important as crash protection and the benefits of simply not being in a collision are, of course, immeasurably greater. So we will keep the emphasis on all areas of safety in the coming years and some manufacturers will have to continue to up their game in this area if they are not going to be left behind by the competition.”