Tesla won on details but both it and Porsche are five-star Euro-NCAP cars

Tesla won on details but both it and Porsche are five-star Euro-NCAP cars

The Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model X have been tested by Euro NCAP and, though both received five-star ratings, the Tesla showed stronger safety performance in key assessment categories.

With its 98% score in Adult Occupant Protection (AOP) and 94% in Safety Assist – the category which assesses safety technology – the Model X is one of the safest cars of the year. The Taycan achieved 85% in AOP and 83% in Safety Assist.

Matthew Avery, director of research, Thatcham Research and Euro NCAP board member said: "The devil's in the detail when you compare the Euro NCAP assessments.

"Both are safe cars, but the Model X is the stand out."

It's 94% Safety Assist score matches the result achieved by the Tesla Model 3 earlier in 2019. This remains the best result in the category by some margin, although the 83% achieved by the Taycan is now the second highest score this year.

"Tesla has long touted its cars as some of the safest on the market and given the performance of the Model 3 and Model X in Euro NCAP testing, they might just be right," added Avery.

"However, the brand's tendency to overstate the autonomous capability of its driver support systems remains a concern. These systems are leaders in crash avoidance but drivers should not be encouraged to over rely on them and must stay attentive at all times."

The Model X achieved its category leading score for a variety of reasons.

"The car performed exceedingly well in most assessments of its safety technologies," he said. "Where the Autonomous Emergency Braking systems fitted to some vehicles struggle to identify impact targets and brake too late, the Model X does so very early and brakes intelligently. Multiple cameras on the front, side and b-pillar, combine with radar to give it state of the art performance."

Jeep Renegade goes off track

While most vehicles tested in 2019 have achieved five-star Euro NCAP ratings, the Jeep Renegade has become the first to receive just three stars.

"Jeep's record in Euro NCAP testing is variable, to say the least," said Avery. "Last year the Wrangler was given a one star rating, one of the lowest ever seen. The 2019 Cherokee was an improvement, but the Renegade shows the brand falling behind on safety again. Just compare it to the safety performance of the Mazda CX-30 which is in the same class of vehicle."

Despite its overall four-star rating, the ageing Volkswagen Sharan was penalised for its performance in the side pole test. The side door detached during the impact, presenting a risk of occupant ejection.

"Although the Sharan is an older design, families will still choose it. A structural failure of this magnitude in impact testing is disappointing," said Avery.