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Six of the safest cars on the road today

Carlton Boyce / 21 April 2016 ( 07 February 2017 )

Thinking of buying a new car? We look at Euro NCAP scores to find six of the safest cars on the road in the UK today.

Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90

No one wants to think about having an accident, but sadly they do happen; and they can happen to even the most careful driver, so it pays to give some consideration to how safe your car is.

Car safety features fall into two main areas: active safety measures that help you to avoid having an accident in the first place, and passive safety equipment that protects you if you do.

There is no need to change your car in the name of better protection, but when you are ready to buy a new model you might like to consider one of these, as each are among the safest cars on sale today.

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The safest car

Volvo XC90

Volvo has the stated aim that no one will be killed or seriously injured in any of its new cars from 2020, and the all-new XC90 brings a seemingly unachievable aim one step closer.

The XC90 is stuffed to the gunnels with passive and active safety equipment, and draws particular praise for its innovative pedestrian and cyclist recognition system, plus autonomous braking, and rear collision alert. This is, quite simply, the safest car for you and your family.

Euro NCAP scores:

Adult occupant = 97%

Child occupant = 87%

Pedestrian = 72%

Safety assist = 100%

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A car packed with safety features

Honda Jazz

The Honda Jazz is remarkable for the range of safety equipment fitted to what is a relatively cheap, mass-market car. 

Autonomous Emergency Braking is standard across the whole range, which starts at just £14,000. 

Euro NCAP scores:

Adult occupant = 93%

Child occupant = 85%

Pedestrian = 73%

Safety assist = 71%

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The safest family car

Toyota Avensis

The Toyota Avensis is a family-sized car that doesn’t stint on its safety equipment, going above-and-beyond the basic requirements demanded by legislation, with an especially impressive score for side-impact protection.

Euro NCAP scores:

Adult occupant = 93%

Child occupant = 85%

Pedestrian = 78%

Safety assist = 81%

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The safest sports car

Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 is a stripped-down, back-to-basics two-seater that delivers maximum thrills per mile as well as class-leading safety. 

Your old MGB might have offered all the impact protection of a damp cardboard shoebox, but the all-new MX-5 gives all the excitement of a classic sports car with none of the risks.

Euro NCAP scores:

Adult occupant = 84%

Child occupant = 80%

Pedestrian = 93%

Safety assist = 64%

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The safest MPV

Volkswagen Touran

Volkswagen’s mini-MPV the VW Touran scored well in all the key areas, providing excellent protection for up to seven people in a reasonably priced car. 

Dodgy diesel emissions aside, this is a safe family car you can put your faith in.

Euro NCAP scores:

Adult occupant = 88%

Child occupant = 89%

Pedestrian = 71%

Safety assist = 76%

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The safest saloon

Jaguar XE

The all-new Jaguar XE is probably the nicest four-door executive saloon in its class to drive, so to find that it performs so well in an accident is a very welcome bonus. 

Standard-fit autonomous braking helps boost its safety credentials, as does very good impact protection.

Euro NCAP scores:

Adult occupant = 92%

Child occupant = 82%

Pedestrian = 81%

Safety assist = 82%

*The Euro NCAP scores are based on a variety of tests that each vehicle is put through. The higher the score, the safer the car. 

If you enjoy Carlton's inimitable style of writing, you'll love his book How to Become a Motoring Journalist - available on the Saga Bookshop.

Next article: Three small cars you'll want to downsize to >>>

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.