Britain’s safest carsSafety is one of the top factors when motorists choose their next cars. And with models offering more protection than ever, there’s plenty of choice.

Even the smallest models are safer than you’d expect, but according the Euro NCAP – the organisation responsible for crash testing cars across Europe – the safest cars are still larger models.

We’ve rounded up the top ten safest cars available in the UK.

Volvo V60

It’s no surprise that Volvo has to be on any top ten safety list after concentrating its efforts on improving car safety for decades.

Now it tops the NCAP 5-star ratings with impressive scores for adult protection (94%), child protection (82%), pedestrian protection (64%) and safety assist features (100%). Most families on a budget will opt for the 2.0 D3 with 163bhp giving a 0-62mph time of secs, a top speed of 137mph and a combined fuel economy of 51.4mpg. Volvos hold their value well so expect to pay around £23,000 for a one-year-old.

Auto Trader owner, Richard P from Amersham, said: “It’s well finished, the premium stereo is worth it, the sat-nav is OK, the leather and kit feels both soft and bombproof.”

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BMW 5 Series

Still a top runner since it was tested last year and is, thanks to legendary built quality and fit, likely to stand the test of time also for any busy family.

Its NCAP 5-star rating scores include adult protection (95%), child protection (83%), pedestrian protection (78%) and safety assist (100%). A good family model to choose is the 530d whose 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine offers 245bhp providing the 62mph sprint in just 6.3secs and a top speed of 155mph with combined fuel economy of 46.3mpg. Again, residual values are strong to expect to buy a year old model for about £27,000.

Auto Trader owner, Fraser S of Lochearnhead, reported: “BMW have done it again, they have built a good looking, well built, luxurious, fast car that is good to drive and, for the basics, is relatively good value for money.”

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Mercedes E Class

Another classy German but with a very sound family friendly image especially with the cavernous estate body.

The NCAP 5-star results scored were adult protection (86%), child protection (77%), pedestrian protection (59%) and safety assist (86%). The estate version of the 2.2CDI BlueEFFICIENCY is an excellent family choice boasting a 170bhp turbo diesel engine delivering 0-60mph in 8.8secs on the way to a top speed of 137mph and 54.3mpg on the combined cycle. Naturally, the car holds onto its value well and you would need to find around £29,000 for a one year old.

Auto Trader owner, Tim S from Lincoln , said: “This is an ideal car for the active family yet retains the style needed to project a professional image for work. This is my first Mercedes but I hope it will not be my last.”

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Toyota Verso

This may be a comparatively small car but it packs a big punch in the safety stakes and has become a firm family favourite.

Its NCAP 5-star ratings include adult protection (89%), child protection (75%), pedestrian protection (69%) and safety assist (86%). A good example for families is the Verso 2.0 D-4D MPV with a 126bhp motor supplying a 0-62mph time of 11.3secs, a top speed of 115mph and combined fuel economy of 53.3mpg.

Auto Trader owner, Andy B of Crawley , said: “Good vehicle all round can carry seven people or fold rear seats for luggage can be heavy on fuel comfy to drive long distances loads extras for the money.”

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Citroen C4 Picasso

One for the style conscious family which still needs space, versatility and value for money and yet one of the safety cars on the road

The C4’s NCAP 5-star ratings include adult protection (87%), child protection (78%), pedestrian protection (46%) and safety assist (89%). The pick of the engine options is probably the 1.6 HDi which uses a 110bhp motor to accelerate to 62mph in 13.3secs to a top speed of 112mph while delivering 54.3mpg on the combined cycle. These frugal and practical cars hold their value well so expect to pay about £13,000 for a one-year-old.

Auto Trader owner, NJP of Staunton , said: “It is fantastic to drive and the boot space is huge…big enough for the double pushchair and the weeks shopping!!!.”

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Peugeot 5008
Auto Trader owner, SharonP from Tywyn , said: “Reliable easy to drive flexible driving uses i.e. can change boot to suit six people or leave as a standard road car.”

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Renault Grand Scenic

Auto Trader owner, OrianaJ from Stevenage, said: “Spacious, practical, smooth drive, economical, great family all rounder. This is a middle of the range vehicle with a feel of a more expensive car.”

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Saab 9-5
Auto Trader owner, StephenV of Royston , reported: “This car gets so many looks from people. It has a magnificent presence on the road. It is very, very quiet, the ride is excellent and smooth but a little jiggly on occasions.”

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Skoda Yeti
Auto Trader owner, KeithL from Reading, said: “The Skoda Yeti, ideal for all year round motoring. It just fits my needs perfectly. Carries five without trouble even with a boot full of luggage, while also being small enough to nip around town and refined enough to travel long distances in a day.”

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Toyota Avensis
Auto Trader owner, MarkF of High Wycombe, reported: “So to sum up, if you want reliability, plenty of space with ‘Lexus’ quality and trim inside and out then go for it, I have no regrets.”

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