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Safety first for Citroen

High scorer: Citroen's C5 receives top safety marks for its inclusion of knee airbags and front and rear seatbelt warning reminders.

Small cars and Citroen are the big winners in Euro NCAP's latest crash test results

Citroen logo1 Dec 2004

By MARTON PETTENDY

SMALL cars and Citroen were the big winners in the latest round of European New Car Assessment Program crash testing, the results of which were revealed last week with unprecedented fanfare.

More than 400 TV networks received live satellite pictures of Euro NCAP’s Phase 15 launch directly from Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid on November 25, where the crash test results of 13 new vehicles – including BMW’s new 5 Series and Ford’s redesigned Focus – were revealed.

Leading a significant improvement in small-car safety was Renault’s Modus five-door hatch, which became the first supermini (known as light cars in Australia, where Modus is not sold) to score a maximum five-star result for occupant protection.

Also scoring a five-star rating for occupant protection, along with a commendable four stars out of five for child protection and three stars outof four for pedestrian safety, was Citroen’s new C4 small car, which scoredan outstanding total of 35 points out of a possible 37.

Along with a five-star occupant protection rating, it scored a benchmarkfour out of five stars for child protection and three out of four stars forpedestrian protection.

The ENCAP crash procedure includes a 64km/h frontal impact test intoan offset deformable barrier, a 50km/h side impact test, a 29km/h pole testand a 40km/h pedestrian test.

Meantime, Citroen's facelifted C5 medium sedan (known as a large family car in Europe), which is also due on sale here in the first quarter of 2005, collected 36 points – the highest score achieved by any vehicle since ENCAP testing was established in 1997.

But while it rated a maximum five stars for occupant protection - including a perfect 16/16 in frontal impact tests, thanks in part to knee airbags and seatbelt reminder warnings both front and rear – the revised C5 amassed a below-average one star out of four for pedestrian protection and three stars out of five for child protection.

 center imageOf the 15 models in the latest round of ENCAP testing, seven received the maximum five-star rating for occupant safety, nine received the maximum four-star rating for child protection, no cars received the maximum four-star rating for pedestrian protection and nine cars received only a one-star rating for pedestrian protection.

While 50 per cent of cars tested this time received a maximum five-star occupant safety rating, only two cars (C4 and the Seat Altea) scored three out of four stars for pedestrian safety, with most scoring just one star.

Scoring a five-star occupant safety rating but just one star for pedestrian protection were Audi’s new A6 sedan and the Volkswagen Touareg SUV.

Also surprising was the less than perfect four-star occupant protection score achieved by BMW’s E60 5 Series sedan, which also rated just one out of four stars for pedestrian protection but gained a creditable four-out-of-five-star child protection rating.

Performing almost as well as C4 in the small-car category was Ford’s all-new Focus, due here mid-2005.

The replacement for one of the world’s top-sellers matched C4 with five-star occupant and four-star child protection ratings, and fell one star short in pedestrian protection results with two stars out of four.

BMW’s new 1 Series also became a five-star small car in terms of occupant protection, but fell short of the best performers when it came to child protection (three out of five stars) and pedestrian protection (one out of four).

Latest Euro NCAP results:


SUPERMINIS:Renault Modus
Occupant protection: 5 stars
Child protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian protection: 1 starHyundai Getz
Occupant protection: 4 stars
Child protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian protection: 1 starFiat Panda
Occupant protection: 3 stars
Child protection: 2 stars
Pedestrian protection: 1 starKia Picanto
Occupant protection: 3 stars
Child protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian protection: 1 starSMALL FAMILY CARS:Citroën C4
Occupant protection: 5 stars
Child protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian protection: 3 starsFord Focus
Occupant protection: 5 stars
Child protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian protection: 2 starsBMW 1 Series
Occupant protection: 5 stars
Child protection: 3 stars
Pedestrian protection: 1 starLARGE FAMILY CARS:Citroën C5
Occupant protection: 5 stars
Child protection: 3 stars
Pedestrian protection: 1 starSkoda Octavia
Occupant protection: 4 stars
Child protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian protection: 2 starsEXECUTIVE CARS:Audi A6
Occupant protection: 5 stars
Child protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian protection: 1 starBMW 5 Series
Occupant protection: 4 stars
Child protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian protection: 1 starSMALL MPVs:Seat Altea
Occupant protection: 5 stars
Child protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian protection: 3 starsLARGE OFF-ROADERS:VW Touareg
Occupant protection: 5 stars
Child protection: 4 stars
Pedestrian protection: 1 starTEST UPDATEMazda2
Occupant protection: 4 stars
Child protection: 3 stars
Pedestrian protection: 2 stars

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