EuroNCAP Small Car 2009

The latest round of Euro NCAP test results are out and 5 out of the 6 cars tested have scored 5 stars, causing all of the manufacturers namely Audi, Hyundai, Kia and Peugeot to be sending out press releases boasting about their 5-star rating. But beyond the 5 star rating are a few other statistics that you can look at.

The Audi Q5 was just launched here in Malaysia, and the model tested by Euro NCAP was the 2.0 TDI Steppe model in right hand drive. The Jazz was the Jazz 1.4 ES left hand drive, the i20 was the 1.4 GL left hand drive and the Soul was the 1.6 EX left hand drive. The Pug was the 3008 1.6HDi also in left hand drive.

Honda Jazz

All of the cars scored pretty well in the adult and child safety area as well as the safety assist points but only the i20 and Jazz did relatively well in the pedestrian safety tests. All of the cars were reported to offer only good pedestrian protection with the front bumper, with poor results when it comes to the bonnet.

Even for the Jazz and Hyundai it was the same – the weak point was the car bonnet, which was rated to offer good protection to an adult pedestrian only, but not a child’s, which explains the 60+ marks instead of something higher. It seems that pedestrian safety is not taken as seriously in Europe as it is in countries such as America, which has stringent rules that most of the time call for entirely new larger bumper designs to be installed onto American spec cars.

Hyundai i20

Out of the 5 cars which scored 5 stars, only the Q5, Soul and Peugeot has stability control as standard, which the Jazz and Hyundai i20 (which are in the same segment, the i20 is the replacement for the Hyundai Getz sold here in Malaysia) only having standard stability control on certain models. However Euro NCAP says according to sales trends for the models, a majority of the model mix sold are equipped with ESC as standard.

It’s also very interesting to compare the Jazz and the i20 which are in the same segment’s results. I believe it represents how far Korean automotive engineering have come now, because the i20 outscores the Jazz in pretty much every area, sometimes by more than 10%.