Euro NCAP has released its latest batch of nine crash-test results, with the Fiat Panda scoring zero stars and the new Jeep Wrangler managing just one.
The new Audi Q3, BMW X5, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jaguar I-Pace, Peugeot 508, Volvo V60 and Volvo S60, meanwhile, each achieved a maximum five-star rating.
Euro NCAP says the "ageing" Panda, which it last tested in 2011, has now been “comprehensively overtaken by rival superminis in the race for safety”.
“With nothing more than a seatbelt reminder scoring points in Euro NCAP’s Safety Assist box, the vehicle fails to reach even a single star, a dubious distinction matched only by the Punto in 2017,” the safety authority said.
The Panda scored 45 percent for adult occupant safety, 16 percent for child occupant safety, 47 percent for vulnerable road user safety and just seven percent for its safety assistance kit. Interestingly, while Euro NCAP found the Panda’s passenger compartment “remained stable” in the frontal offset test, dummy readings of driver chest compression indicated “weak protection” for this body area.
The new Wrangler, meanwhile, comes with a seatbelt reminder and a “simple driver-set speed limiter, but no other form of driver-assistance system”.
It scored 50 percent for adult occupant safety, 69 percent for child occupant safety, 49 percent for vulnerable road user safety and 32 percent for its safety assistance equipment. In the frontal offset test, Euro NCAP reported that the “connection between the A-pillar and the trans-facia beam was damaged in a way that indicated the structure would be unable to withstand higher loads”. Similarly, deformation of the Wrangler's footwell showed that the structure had “reached the limit of its integrity”.
“It is truly disappointing to see a brand new car being put on sale in 2018 with no autonomous braking system and no lane assistance. It is high time we saw a product from the Fiat-Chrysler group offering safety to rival its competitors,” said Euro NCAP secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen.
Interestingly, Euro NCAP’s tests on the Santa Fe highlighted an issue where the side curtain airbags of cars equipped with a panoramic roof could be torn during deployment. In response, the safety authority says Hyundai has “already changed the airbag fixings in production and early cars are subject to an official recall”.
The BMW X5 also suffered from airbag problems, with the driver knee airbag not deploying correctly in the frontal offset test and providing little additional protection to the driver’s legs (but it still scored five stars). A similar issue was seen with the 5 Series in 2017.
“Despite the work done by manufacturers during the development of their vehicles, Euro NCAP still sees a lack of robustness in some basic areas of safety. To be fair, the Audi Q3, Jaguar I-Pace, Peugeot 508 and Volvo V60/S60 have set the standard against which others are judged this time, and other manufacturers could do well to follow their example,” said Van Ratingen.
“The I-Pace, especially, demonstrates that future vehicles will be good for the environment but also provide high levels of safety,” he added.
Watch the Panda and Wrangler crash tests below and head over to Euro NCAP’s YouTube channel to view the rest...