the safest cars 2022

The new Vauxhall Astra had to settle for four stars in the latest round of Euro NCAP safety tests. But did any of the other models assessed do well enough to make it onto our list of the 10 safes...

the safest cars 2022
The safest cars on sale today

The 308 and Astra lost out on a star because they offer marginal chest protection for adults in front-on crashes, meaning that injuries are more likely than in a car rated 'good' such as the Volkswagen Taigo coupé SUV. Euro NCAP also noted that neither the 308 nor the Astra comes with a central airbag to protect against injuries caused by passenger-to-passenger collisions during an accident.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in Euro NCAP crash test

=7. Mercedes EQS

Mercedes EQS 2022 front

Adult occupant protection 96% Child occupant protection 91% Pedestrian protection 76% Safety Assist 80%

Total Euro NCAP score 343/400

The EQS is an electric luxury limousine that gives those who want to go green an alternative to the existing Mercedes S-Class. It can manage up to 478 miles between charges, while Euro NCAP awarded it the highest adult occupant protection score of any car tested in 2021, along with a very strong rating for child occupant protection.

=7. Volkswagen ID.5

Volkswagen ID.5 2022 front

Adult occupant protection 93% Child occupant protection 89% Pedestrian protection 76% Safety Assist 85%

Total Euro NCAP score 343/400

The Volkswagen ID.5 is essentially a sleeker-looking sibling to the Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV, and under the skin they are very similar, with an almost identical interior and the same 77kWh battery. This particularly shows with their safety: both cars achieved the same score. 

=7. Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen ID.4 GTX 2022 tracking

Adult occupant protection 93% Child occupant protection 89% Pedestrian protection 76% Safety Assist 85%

Total Euro NCAP score 343/400

The ID.4 was the second model to join Volkswagen's growing electric car line-up, following on from the smaller Volkswagen ID.3. The larger car is more practical for families and performed even better than its sibling in crash tests. As well as a robust structure that protects both the occupants and the battery well, the ID.4 comes with a full suite of airbags, including one between the front seats that mitigates injuries in side impacts. It is also fitted with a local hazard warning system as standard.

6. Mercedes C-Class

Mercedes C-Class 2022 front

Adult occupant protection 93% Child occupant protection 89% Pedestrian protection 80% Safety Assist 82%

Total Euro NCAP score 344/400

The Mercedes C-Class is the brand’s entry-level executive saloon, but that doesn’t mean it falls short for safety. Crash testers highlighted the excellent pedestrian protection provided by its ‘active bonnet’, which automatically raises to create a cushion above the engine. The C-Class also received special recognition for its optional system which ‘talks’ to other cars over the internet to anticipate hazards.

5. Polestar 2

Polestar 2 2021 front

Adult occupant protection 93% Child occupant protection 89% Pedestrian protection 80% Safety Assist 83%

Total Euro NCAP score 345/400

Polestar's second car is a thrillingly quick electric hatchback with a plush interior and a decent range. As well as a strong rating for adult occupant protection, it scored an impressive 80% for minimising injury to vulnerable road users thanks to its standard pop-up bonnet. It was also praised for the high level of its active safety systems and the fact that it gives owners the ability to make their car even safer in the future with over-the-air software updates. 

4. Genesis G80

Genesis G80 2021 front right cornering

Adult occupant protection 91% Child occupant protection 87% Pedestrian protection 77% Safety Assist 91%

Total Euro NCAP score 346/400

The G80 luxury car matches the excellent adult occupant and child occupant protection scores of its stablemate, the GV80 SUV. While its Safety Assist score wasn't quite as good, it is significantly better at protecting pedestrians, because it has an active bonnet that automatically pops up to cushion them and stop them from striking the engine.

3. Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai 2022 front

Adult occupant protection 91% Child occupant protection 91% Pedestrian protection 70% Safety Assist 95%

Total Euro NCAP score 347/400

Another high scorer with Euro NCAP, the Qashqai achieved a Safety Assist rating of 95%, which is equalled only by the Subaru Outback (tested in September 2021). We reckon the middle of the range is where the best value lies, because the cheaper trims (especially Visia) are stingily equipped and range-topping models are rather pricey.

2. Lexus NX

Lexus NX front

Adult occupant protection 91% Child occupant protection 87% Pedestrian protection 83% Safety Assist 91%

Total Euro NCAP score 352/400

The new NX is the first Lexus to be available as a plug-in hybrid, and it's been worth the wait, because the new NX 450h+ is our Plug-in Hybrid of the Year, with impressive refinement, a good electric-only range, low CO2 emissions and a low company car tax rate. It also scored impressively well in the most recent round of safety tests, with high scores in each category.

1. Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback 2021 front cornering

Adult occupant protection 88% Child occupant protection 89% Pedestrian protection 84% Safety Assist 95%

Total Euro NCAP score 356/400

If you're looking for genuine all-weather abilities, a hugely practical interior and tonnes of safety technology, the Outback is definitely worth considering. Indeed, the list of kit that it comes with includes AEB, lane-keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition, blindspot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic alert system to warn of objects crossing your path while backing up. All that helped it to the highest overall Euro NCAP score of any car assessed since the latest testing regime was introduced.

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