The Renault Modus mini-MPV, which is due to be launched in South Africa next year, has become the first sub C-segment car to score five stars in Euro NCAP crash testing.

The Renault Modus mini-MPV, which is due to be launched in South Africa next year, has become the first sub C-segment car to score five stars in Euro NCAP crash testing.


The Modus, first unveiled at the Geneva Show earlier this year and based on the platform of the next Clio, scored 32,84 out of a maximum 37 points. The high-roofed Renault is the Régie’s seventh vehicle to record a five-star performance in the past two years.


The previous benchmark for cars smaller than the Opel Astra and Volkswagen Golf 5, for example, was the Honda Jazz, which scored an impressive four stars in front and side impacts, plus three stars in pedestrian and child occupant protection.


The Modus secured a five-star rating in front and side impacts, four stars in child occupant protection, but only one star for pedestrian protection. Its structure includes strengthened crumple zones, designed to work in harmony with the restraint mechanisms of Renault's third-generation System for Restraint and Protection (SRP3). Six airbags – including two adaptive front airbags – and front safety belts with load limiters and double pretensioners complete the Modus’ safety specification.


But, bear in mind that the Modus models’ crash safety rating will be dependent on specification - curtain airbags aren't included on the entry-level version, noted.


South Africans will shortly be introduced to a battle between two French supermini “city” MPVs. Squaring up to each other (almost literally), will be the Modus and Peugeot 1007.


CARtoday.com last month quoted Thierry Poirat, managing director of Peugeot SA, as saying the 1007, a spunky little urban car fitted with two remote-controlled electric sliding doors and interchangeable interior trim colours, would definitely be launched in South Africa in the not-too-distant future. Click here to read more.


The Modus, meanwhile, is set to arrive in South Africa some time in the first half of next year, according to new Renault SA managing director Roland Bouchara.


The range will offer the following engines: 16-valve 1,4s and 1,6s, mated with five-speed manual gearboxes taken from the Mégane II (gear ratios adapted to the Modus). An automatic transmission will be offered on the 1,6-litre flagship.


A unique feature is the “boot shute”, a clever downward-folding flap in the tailgate (a bit like a cat flap) that allows access in tight spaces. The whole tailgate opens upwards in the conventional way. Standard equipment will include ABS with EBD, ESP with understeer control and a tyre pressure monitoring system


Other innovations include a small cubby under the squab of the front passenger seat, which folds up to provide access, and a centre rear seat that folds away, allowing the two outer seats to be moved closer together and further backwards to provide large-car space.


Bouchara was quoted as saying that the Modus prices should be about 10 per cent up on the equivalent Clio.