The new Renault Laguna has become the first car to achieve a five star result in Europe’s leading independent crash tests confirmed Euro NCAP yesterday (27 March). In addition to the Renault Laguna’s five star Euro NCAP rating, crashworthiness results for five small MPVs and the new Nissan Almera were also published at a press conference in Germany co-hosted by Euro NCAP and German motoring organisation the ADAC.

A fifth star was added to the Euro NCAP star rating system early in 2000 to set an additional safety challenge for Europe’s car makers. To achieve the fifth star a car has to perform exceptionally well in both the front and side impact tests as well as in Euro NCAP’s new head protection or ‘pole’ test.

Max Mosley, Euro NCAP Chairman and President of the FIA said,

“We are clearly delighted with the performance of the new Renault Laguna. Some manufacturers said that it would be impossible to achieve the fifth Euro NCAP star but in less than a year since its introduction Renault has succeeded in setting a new benchmark in crashworthiness. We hope that many more manufacturers will now rise to Euro NCAP’s five star challenge.”

In the latest Euro NCAP group tests, launched at the ADAC’s Technical Centre in Landsberg, Germany, five small MPVs were also put to the test. This was the first time that Euro NCAP had tested this new class of vehicle.

Three of the small MPVs achieved a four star rating, the Renault Scenic, the Citroen Picasso and the Nissan Tino. The Nissan Tino achieved the best-in-class performance. The Mazda Premacy and the Mitsubishi Space Star scored three stars. The new Nissan Almera scored four stars.

The Mazda Premacy scored the second three star pedestrian protection rating achieved in Euro NCAP to date but overall pedestrian safety standards still remain poor.

Euro NCAP Chairman Max Mosley said,

“At a time when small MPVs are becoming increasingly popular with consumers across Europe we are delighted that our latest results show a good overall safety performance for the models tested, however it is clear that more can and should be done to improve pedestrian safety.”

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