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Hydrogen-powered Nexo scores five-star in Euro NCAP


Results from the latest batch of vehicles to be tested by Euro NCAP and its partners have been announced. Cars from Hyundai, Lexus, Mazda and Mercedes-Benz all achieved five-star Euro NCAP ratings for safety, with Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall’s five-door MPV taking home a four-star rating.

The Hyundai Nexo

In this group of five and four-star rated cars, the Hyundai Nexo was singled out for praise by experts. Matthew Avery, Director of Research, Thatcham Research comments: “The Hyundai Nexo is the first hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle that Euro NCAP has tested. Its five-star safety rating should dispel concerns around how hydrogen fuel cell powered cars perform in a crash. With the Nexo, Hyundai have successfully demonstrated that alternative fuelled vehicles need not pose a risk to car safety.”

A-Class act
Avery also praised the performance of the Mercedes A-Class: “Mercedes is democratising safety for the compact class. The A-Class showed top performance across the board – rating highly on passive and active safety protection.”

In addition, both the Hyundai Nexo and the Mercedes A-Class are available off the forecourt with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems which can detect pedestrians and cyclists. “The AEB systems in both vehicles responded well to Euro NCAP’s new, more rigorous testing. Its pleasing to see that carmakers across all categories are stepping up and working with Euro NCAP to do more to protect our most vulnerable road users.” Said Avery.

Five-star luxury
In the large family car segment, the Mazda 6 and the Lexus ES scored five-star Euro NCAP safety ratings. The Mazda 6 achieved one of the highest percentages seen this year for Adult Occupant Protection (95 per cent), beaten only by the 2018’s top performer for safety, the Volvo XC40 (97 per cent). “Mazda deliver on safety consistently.” Added Avery.

The Peugeot / Citroen / Vauxhall triplets
The Peugeot Rifter, the Citroen Berlingo and the Vauxhall Combo ‘triplets’ – three identical vehicles whose ratings were based on tests of the Peugeot Rifter – were awarded four-stars. “The Peugeot Rifter and its twins offer very good levels of protection to the driver in an impact, but the focus on vulnerable road user protection was not keen enough to merit a full five-star Euro NCAP rating.” Said Avery.

As such, the Euro NCAP report highlighted overall marginal performance for the car’s AEB systems – which did not respond well to faster-moving road users like cyclists.

#TestingAutomation
Of the cars tested by Euro NCAP, the Mercedes A-Class and the Hyundai Nexo have ‘Motorway Assist’ options. Highway Assist technologies combine Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Centring and Speed Assist Systems to support drivers in driving situations on motorways. These systems were recently assessed for the first time by Euro NCAP, to help consumers better understand the limits of the systems and to not over-rely on them.

Both cars were considered to offer a good balance of support with, “little risk of driver over-reliance on the system(s).”

For more detail, see Euro NCAP’s Automated Driving assessments of the Hyundai Nexo and the Mercedes A-Class – which has the same motorway ‘Assist’ system as the Mercedes C-Class.

Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety, security & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’, while driving standards in vehicle security.

As well as its crash and track research, Thatcham Research develops repair methods amongst a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

In addition, Thatcham Research has administered the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) Group Rating system for the past 50 years. Group Rating is an advisory system intended to provide insurers with the relative risk of private cars and light commercial vehicles.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.