Many people put safety at the top of their list of priorities when it comes to choosing a new car. If you’re one of them and want to know about the safest cars on the market, then our top 10 list is exactly what you need.
We’ve ranked cars in order of the scores they achieved during crash tests carried out by Euro NCAP – the independent body that gives new cars an official safety rating.
Cars are assessed by Euro NCAP in four areas: adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and safety assistance systems – and the criteria get tougher every year.
The first three categories assess the car's structure combined with safety systems such as airbags to see how much protection is offered to occupants and pedestrians in the event of a crash.
The safety assistance category looks at the level and efficiency of safety technology that's fitted to the car to help prevent a crash from happening in the first place. This includes electronic stability control, lane-departure warning systems and systems that can automatically apply the brakes if they sense you’re going to hit a car in front. For more information on Euro NCAP: How safe is my car? article.
Every car that's tested is given a percentage for each category and then an overall star rating out of five. All the cars on our list achieved a five-star rating in 2014 – the toughest tests yet – apart from the Volvo V40, which scored a never-beaten set of scores back in 2012.