• Safest cars in their classes revealed
• Ford has three class-winners
• Transit is the world’s first five-star van

The European car-safety experts, Euro NCAP, have been through their test results for 2012 and have announced the safest car in each class. Seven classes of car have been announced, which are: supermini, small family, small MPV, small 4×4, large 4×4, large family and business/family van.

In the supermini class, the new Renault Clio has been named as the safest car in this particular class, with the Ford Fiesta coming in second. Claiming the now almost ubiquitous five-star rating, the Clio impressed with its adult and child occupant scores – 88 and 89 per cent respectively and its 99 per cent score for safety assist. It impressed in the pedestrian test as well, scoring 66 per cent.

Unsurprisingly, the Volvo V40 won the small family car class – it’s the safest car that Euro NCAP has ever tested – and scored exceptionally well in the adult occupancy test, getting a 98 per cent rating and in the safety assist category, it scored an astonishing 100 per cent. The V40’s pedestrian impact score was also very good – 88 per cent but it was let down slightly by its child occupant score of 75 per cent.

Is there anything that the BMW 3 Series doesn’t do excellently? It’s even very safe, winning the large family car sector in Euro NCAP’s tests. The Beemer scored 95 per cent for adult occupants and 84 per cent for child occupants. For pedestrian impact tests, it scored 78 per cent and managed 86 per cent in the safety assist category. The Ford Kuga came top in the small 4×4 class, scoring consistently well in all the categories.

There were two winners in the small MPV class, the Ford B-Max and Fiat 500L, both of which scored impressively in all the categories. In adult occupant tests, they scored 92 and 94 per cent each, in child occupant tests 84 and 78 per cent, 67 and 65 per cent in pedestrian tests and 71 per cent each in the safety assist category. The Hyundai Santa Fe was the best large 4×4, scoring 96, 89, 71 and 86 per cent in the respective tests.

Last year, the Ford Transit became the first van to get a 5-star rating and scored well in the occupant tests, and reasonably well in the safety assist category but its pedestrian score was less impressive, at 48 per cent. Compared to other vans, however, it was exemplary.

By James Richardson

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