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Thatcham Research reveals safest new cars

New electric and hybrid vehicles are demonstrating ‘impressive safety advancements’ ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel models. That’s the verdict of Thatcham Research, after it revealed the UK’s safest new cars of 2021 last month.

The cars were selected by a panel of expert judges, who favoured affordable vehicles that ‘will bring the biggest safety benefits to the greatest number of drivers’. This came after they were put through tough Euro NCAP and Thatcham Research testing.

Of particular importance were robust ‘active’ crash-avoidance systems, effective ‘passive’ occupant protection features, well-delivered driver interface technology, and a commitment to standard fitment across the range. Among the cars to rank highly were the ‘safety-conscious’ EQS from Mercedes-EQ, Nissan’s popular Qashqai, and the all-electric Enyaq by Škoda. Also praised were the Volvo-derived Polestar 2 and the hybrid-electric Toyota Yaris Cross.

Matthew Avery, chief research strategy officer at Thatcham Research, said: “It’s fantastic to see carmakers continuing to prioritise safety, with all but four vehicles tested by Euro NCAP in 2021 achieving a four or five-star rating.

“Most are rising to the safety challenge and it’s encouraging to note EVs are performing very well as a group too.

“As well as the development of active safety technology to help avoid crashes and protect vulnerable road users, we also welcome the continued introduction of passive safety innovations such as centre-airbags, which prevent occupants from colliding into one another during side impacts.”