What are the criteria for a five-star Euro NCAP rating?

27-05-2021
Safety is an important issue in the development of new cars and an important buying argument for many European motorists. To get a fair and transparent picture of how safe a new car really is, many cars are tested by the independent crash test institute Euro NCAP and rated with zero to a maximum of five stars. Find out how the safety of cars is tested and what the criteria are for a five-star rating.

Euro NCAP stands for European New Car Assessment Program. This is an independent institute formed by a collaboration of various authorities and interest groups in the field of road safety. Euro NCAP developed a five-star rating system to provide consumers with insight into the safety level of new cars – both for occupants and other road users – for easy comparison.

The cars are tested by Euro NCAP in various ways, with multiple copies actually crashing. They collide head-on, sideways, into a pole and into a pedestrian. Active driver assistance systems are also being tested. Euro NCAP’s tests represent the most important, realistic accident scenarios that could result in serious or fatal injuries to occupants or other road users.

After extensive analysis of the crashed vehicles and the condition of the test dummies in the car, the car is rated with zero to a maximum of five stars. The dummies are also filmed by several HD cameras during the crash. The safety scores for occupants (adults and children) and pedestrians, as well as the operation of the active safety systems are additionally stated.

Euro NCAP safety rating

0 star safety: Meeting type-approval standards so can legally be sold but lacking critical modern safety technology.

1 star safety: Marginal crash protection and little in the way of crash avoidance technology.

2 star safety: Nominal crash protection but lacking crash avoidance technology.

3 star safety: At least average occupant protection but not always equipped with the latest crash avoidance features.

4 star safety: Overall good performance in crash protection and all round; additional crash avoidance technology may be present.

5 star safety: Overall excellent performance in crash protection and well equipped with comprehensive and robust crash avoidance technology.

The Euro NCAP assessment goes further than the legal requirements. The number of stars shows how well the car performs in tests. But it’s also influenced by the safety equipment that the car manufacturer offers in all markets. A high number of stars thus shows that not only the test result was good. Is also shows that the safety equipment on the tested model is available to all consumers in Europe.

How safe is a MG?

Let’s get straight to the point. The MG ZS EV was the very first 100% electric SUV in the B-segment to receive five stars from Euro NCAP. This means that the car performs well on all aspects and is equipped as standard with an extensive range of driver assistance systems throughout Europe, grouped under the name MG Pilot.

Some excerpts from the test report of the MG ZS EV: “The passenger compartment remained stable in the frontal offset collision. Dummy measurements indicated good knee and thigh protection for both the driver and passenger. MG showed that a comparable level of protection is provided to occupants of different sizes and to persons sitting in different positions. The standard autonomous emergency braking system (AEB) performed well at low speeds, typical of urban traffic – with many whiplash injuries – avoiding or mitigating collisions in all test scenarios.”

The second model from MG – the EHS Plug-in Hybrid – also meets the highest safety standards. A derivative of this – the MG HS petrol version which isn’t available in mainland Europe – received five stars in the Euro NCAP tests.

Some excerpts from the test report: “The passenger compartment remained stable in the front offset collision. Dummy measurements indicated good knee and thigh protection for both the driver and passenger. In the full-width rigid barrier test, the driver’s protection was good for all critical parts of the body. This was also good or sufficient for the rear passenger. In the side impact, all critical body parts were well protected. Therefore, the model scored the maximum number of points.”

Rating system evolves

The five-star rating system is constantly evolving as older technology evolves and more and more new innovations become available. This means that tests are periodically updated, new tests are added to the system and the star level is adjusted. That is why the test year is of great importance for a correct interpretation of the result of the car.

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