Top crash test marks for new crossovers

Safety body Euro NC has released its fourth batch of crash test ratings this year, with favorable results for the latest models from Alfa Romeo, Cupra, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota.

Top marks have been given to the latest iteration of the Kia Sportage and the brand-new Alfa Romeo Tonale, both SUV/crossovers arriving in 2022.

Built on the same foundations as the Hyundai Tucson SUV that was awarded top marks last year, the Kia Sportage achieved the exact same adult and child occupant crash safety scores as its Tucson twin. That said, the Sportage received a slightly better safety assistance technology score, indicating that it is slightly better at preventing an accident in the first place.

Crash tester Euro NC is equally impressed by the high-scoring Alfa Romeo Tonale. Testers commented that the SUV performs well in potential car-on-car and vulnerable road user crash avoidance tests, but also said that its crash protection scores are not the highest in its class as the car “lacks center airbags and proves to be an aggressive collision partners in frontal crashes.”

Crash tests were also conducted on the new Mercedes-Benz T-Class people carrier, which was awarded a full five-star rating and the highest safety assistance technology score in this latest batch of results.

The all-electric Cupra Born is the last of this latest batch to receive top marks, with higher collision protection scores than the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback it is based on, but inferior vulnerable road user protection results than its Volkswagen stablemate.

This batch of Euro NC crash tests also included another electric model – the BMW i4 saloon, which was awarded a four-star safety rating, suggesting that the five-star BMW 3 Series that it is based on is safer to drive overall.

The i4 has lower collision safety scores than the 3 Series that was tested by Euro NC in 2019, likely due to the significant structural differences caused by the engine, gearbox and associated mechanicals being swped out for an electric motor and batteries.

The i4’s safety assistance technology score was also surprisingly short of BMW’s recent standards – substantially lower in fact than the safety assist score given to the new Toyota Aygo X city car, which is a much smaller and cheer car.

Given a four-star rating, the Aygo X has improved on the three-star rating given by Euro NC to the Aygo city car that was discontinued this year. However, it lacks some of the more advanced safety systems fitted to the slightly larger Yaris hatchback, which was awarded a five-star rating in 2020.