Euro NCAP has announced the best performers across six vehicle classes after crash-testing 69 vehicles in 2017.

Volkswagen dominates the list, taking honours in three of the six segments. The new Polo was deemed the safest in the supermini class, the T-Roc won the small off-road category and the Arteon was named best in the executive class.

Meanwhile, Volvo reinforced its reputation for safety with this year’s best overall performer, the XC60 (due to arrive in SA in the third quarter of 2018), which was named safest in the large off-road category. It scored 98% for adult occupant safety, 87% for child occupant safety, 76% for pedestrian safety and 95% for its safety assistance systems.

The Opel Crossland X took the small MPV award, while the small family car category was won by the Subaru XV and Impreza.

Euro NCAP says most of the models it tested in 2017 were new to the market ... and most achieved the maximum five-star rating. Older, facelifted models didn't fare as well, with their ratings generally poorer than those of newer cars.

Interestingly, Euro NCAP says pedestrian-detecting autobrake systems were available on 82 percent of the (Europe-spec) cars tested in 2017 and standard equipment on 62 percent of them.

Euro NCAP’s ‘best in class’ cars of 2017:

Supermini: Volkswagen Polo
Small family car: Subaru XV and Impreza
Small MPV: Opel Crossland X
Small off-road: Volkswagen T-Roc
Large off-road: Volvo XC60
Executive: Volkswagen Arteon