Euro NCAP says the European-spec Toyota Yaris scored a full five stars after being subjected to the revamped, more stringent 2020 crash-test protocols.

The fourth-generation Yaris (Euro-spec, rather than Asian-spec model marketed here in South Africa) was the first model to be evaluated in an all-new frontal offset test, which replaces the one used since the programme started in 1997.

The test is the first to feature a counter-measure for injuries in far-side impacts. Euro NCAP says the mobile progressive deformable barrier test “assesses the protection a car offers its occupants as well as the risks it poses to the car it has crashed into”.

According to the safety authority, the Yaris “does well” in general, with its “small size and benign front end making it one of the less aggressive crash partners on the road”.

Euro NCAP says two centre-mounted airbags inflate in side impacts to “limit an occupants’ travel to the opposite side of the vehicle” and mitigate the risk of “occupant to occupant” contact.

Overall, the Yaris scored 86 percent for adult occupant safety, 81 percent for child occupant safety, 78 percent for vulnerable road-user protection and 85 percent for its safety assistance kit. That's enough to garner it a full five stars.

"Congratulations to Toyota on a top rating for the Yaris. This has been a tough year for all concerned and I am grateful to Euro NCAP’s labs and employees who have worked hard to deliver safety, while staying safe,” said Euro NCAP’s secretary general, Michiel van Ratingen.

“We have had to adapt quickly to new working practices, and it is pleasing that the first car rated this year should have gone so far to address the safety issues that are emerging as top priorities."

Euro NCAP also announced Audi's e-tron Sportback variant would its stablemate’s 2019 five-star rating, with Renault’s hybrid version of the latest Clio also added to the list of 2019-rated vehicles, with “similar performance” to the combustion-engined car already tested.

Watch the crash test footage of the Yaris below…