Zero-star safety rating for Fiat Punto

Euro NCAP consider Fiat’s aging supermini as ‘past its sell-by date’

The Fiat Punto has been given a no-star rating by independent safety experts Euro NCAP – the first time such a score has been given. It was also given a zero per cent score in organisation's safety assist category.

The Fiat Punto was retested as part of an ongoing reassessment of older vehicles. When the Punto was first tested, under its Grande Punto name in 2005, it scored five stars for adult occupant protection and three stars for both child and pedestrian protection. Euro NCAP says the process is to find cars “that are past their sell-by-date where safety is concerned”.

As new technology increases the safety of new cars, Euro NCAP makes the test tougher. It said the low rating “came because of low scores for its crash performance, combined with the absence of key technologies such as autonomous emergency braking”.

The Punto scored zero per cent in the safety assist category, which assesses equipment that helps to avoid crashes.

It scored 51% for adult occupant protection, 43% for child protection and 52% for pedestrian safety. By contrast, the best-performing small hatchback is currently the new Volkswagen Polo, which scored 96, 85 and 76% respectively. The top-performing model in the safety assist category is the Nissan Micra, with a 73% score.

Matthew Avery from Thatcham Research, which plays a pivotal role in Euro NCAP assessments, told Carbuyer “given its £11,000 starting price, in terms of pound-per safety, it’s not a good buy.”

Avery said that “things have moved on” since the Punto was first tested in 2005, and misses commonly-fitted “fundamental passive safety systems like side airbags” and offers “poor whiplash protection”.

He said Fiat should “go back to the drawing board” with the Punto, adding “Fiat knows how to make five-star vehicles [such as the 500L] and can do better, while cars like the latest SEAT Ibiza demonstrate it’s possible for buyers to combine value for money with safety.”

The score, he said “reflects the fact Euro NCAP has moved on, and Fiat hasn’t with the Punto”.

A Fiat spokeswoman said: "Safety is of the utmost importance to the FCA group. When Punto was launched 12 years ago, it was the first five-star Euro NCAP car in its class. The importance of safety to the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) group is demonstrated by the number of new models achieving five stars, for example Alfa Romeo Giulia, Alfa Romeo Stelvio and the Jeep Compass."

Most Popular

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Car tax
20 Jan 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Best cars
6 Jan 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
21 Jan 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
19 Jan 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
21 Jan 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022