The MG TF recently became the first roadster to get a three-star rating for pedestrian safety in Euro NCAP testing. But another roadster, the Audi TT, fared less well…

The MG TF recently became the first roadster to get a three-star rating for pedestrian safety in Euro NCAP testing. But another roadster, the Audi TT, fared less well…

Until recently, the Honda CR-V soft-roader was the only car to achieve a three-star rating. But while the MG performed well in the tests, the Audi TT and Skoda Superb achieved no points and no stars for pedestrian protection - thus joining the Suzuki Vitara as recipients of the zero rating in that category.

According to reports, testers found that the TF’s mid-mounted engine layout helped make the MG 'pedestrian friendly'. They also praised the roadster for offering good protection to the areas of the bonnet and leading edge where an adult's head would most likely strike. However, Euro NCAP testers commented that it was not quite so forgiving to children in an accident.

However, the TF is way ahead of its rivals in terms of pedestrian safety, with Mazda's MX-5 and Honda's S2000 getting only a one star-rating in this area.

For occupant protection, the MG scored four stars - one short of the maximum and as good as any other car in its class. It lost marks in the frontal collision test because of the load placed on the driver's chest. But testers were concerned that pedals could cause injury to the lower legs and feet. Passengers were also found to be at danger from the 'unforgiving' facia and steering column parts.

Despite having no lateral airbags, occupants were well protected in the side-on impact test. There was no sign that the driver's head hit the hood supports, and although the crash dummy's rib area hit the central armrest, impact forces were low.

In response, Adrian Guyll, vehicle safety protection manager at MG Rover Group, said: "Sportscars are enjoyed for their motoring freedom, but customers can be confident that our engineering development fully ensures the MG TF performs extremely well in safety tests, as demonstrated by the Euro NCAP safety tests. Quite apart from its high four-star occupant safety rating, the three-star rating for pedestrian impact - two stars better than the competition - is an exceptional performance and one that will be respected by MG owners and the general public alike."

Other new cars tested in the latest Euro NCAP assessments included Opel’s new Meriva (its concept, Project M, was seen at Auto Africa motor show last year). The Corsa-based mini-MPV claimed four stars for occupant safety and was praised for the way its body structure coped in a head-on smash and its high seats protected passengers in a side-on collision. But the Meriva was let down by its provision for child occupants, and only got one star for pedestrian safety.

The BMW X5 also scored four stars and was praised for its 'very strong' bodyshell. However, marks were lost for the load seatbelts put on those in the front in a head-on collision. The 4x4's high bonnet, meanwhile, meant it was given only one star for pedestrian safety.

Both the aforementioned Skoda Superb and Audi TT got four stars for occupant safety, while the Mitsubishi Pinin off-roader scored three.

For the Euro NCAP tests, the front impact test is conducted at 64 km/h into an offset deformable barrier, the side impact test 50 km/h, the pole test at 29 km/h and the pedestrian tests at 40 km/h.

 

Occupant Protection

Pedestrian Protection

Family car    

Skoda Superb

4 stars

No stars

     

Mini-MPV

 

Opel/Vauxhall

Meriva

4 stars

1 star

     

Large

off-roader

 

BMW

X-5

4 stars

1 star

     

Small

off-roader

 

Mitsubishi

Pajero Pinin

3 stars

1 star

     

Two

seater roadsters

 

Audi

TT

4 stars

No

stars

MGTF

4 stars

3 star