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Euro NCAP: iQ, Avensis, Impreza, C3 Picasso, Lancer, 6

Thu, 19 Feb 2009

By Alex Michaelides

Motor Industry

19 February 2009 12:40

It’s a good day for the safety of new Japanese cars as the first round of 2009-style Euro NCAP safety ratings are released. Of the six cars tested, full five-star marks were dished out to the Toyota Avensis and Toyota iQ, as well as the Mitsubishi Lancer and Mazda 6. Meanwhile, the Citroen C3 Picasso and Subaru Impreza were awarded four stars.

Today’s results are the first published since the testing criteria was overhauled to give a more comprehensive, overall rating designed to make it harder for cars to score top marks.

So instead of separate star ratings given for adult and child occupant protection, and pedestrian safety (they now receive percentage points), the focus is on the overall star rating.

Cars can’t score the maximum five stars unless they are equipped with standard stability control – a ploy by Euro NCAP to encourage its standard fitment across all new models.

Both Toyotas fared well in adult and child protection. However, both cars scored moderately in pedestrian safety, as did the otherwise safe Mazda 6.

The only car to score highly in the pedestrian tests was the Subaru Impreza, but it missed out on top marks as stability control is not offered throughout the range as standard.

The Citroen C3 Picasso performed well in occupant testing, but it too missed out on five stars because of the lack of electro stability aids.

By Alex Michaelides