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The safest cars in the UK for 2019

  • Ten safest cars in the UK for 2019
  • According to research by Thatcham
  • Does your new car make the list? 

What are the safest cars you can buy in 2019? Research company Thatcham has revealed the 10 safest cars on the market. The cars were judged on a variety of criteria, including five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, plus the following: 

  • Euro NCAP scores for the highest levels of protection offered to driver, front passenger and rear-seated child passengers in a crash
  • Performance in new Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) tests, introduced to address rising numbers of cyclist and pedestrian accidents
  • Availability of systems which combine Adaptive Cruise Control, Speed Recognition and Control, and Steering Support – early steps towards vehicle automation
  • Sales volume in the UK – will the car make a real impact on road safety?

Scroll down or click through to your favourites to find out more, and to read the full Parkers reviews. The 10 safest cars for 2019 are (in alphabetical order):

Audi A6
Audi Q3
Ford Focus
Jaguar I-Pace
Lexus ES
Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Nissan Leaf
Peugeot 508
Volvo S60/V60
Volvo XC40

Audi A6

Audi A6 - the safest cars for 2019

This smart saloon is among the best in its class, with the 2018 version being new from the ground up. We think it's head and shoulders above the old one, and is rammed with cutting-edge technology - one of the reasons it makes it on to the list of the safest cars for 2019. 

Matthew Avery, Director of Research at Thatcham Research, said: “Audi has two models in the list, which is testament to the brand’s excellent track record in producing five-star Euro NCAP cars. The Audi A6 has many safety features, including a pop-up bonnet, to protect pedestrians and cyclists in the event of a collision.”

New price: £38,640 - £51,965
Lease this car from new
Used price: £24,960 - £38,405
Typical used monthly cost: £616 - £947
Fuel economy: 50 - 62 mpg

Read our full review of the Audi A6

Audi Q3

Audi Q3 - the safest cars for 2019

Five stars from Euro NCAP thanks to the range of high-quality technology in the Q3, including blindspot assist and lane-departure warning as standard on all models, while the standard-fit adaptive cruise control, cross-traffic alert and park assist on Vorsprung models is an optional extra on other models. Rear side airbags are an optional extra on all, and there are three Isofix points for your child seats. 

Avery said: “The second highest overall Euro NCAP score (87%) in 2018, very good performance in crash testing and the highest score overall (85%) for crash avoidance technology. One of the year’s stand-out performers.”

Read our full review of the Audi Q3

Ford Focus

Ford Focus - the safest cars for 2019

“The Ford Focus has always been a top seller, so the latest version with its standard-fit crash avoidance technology is making UK roads safer in volume," Avery said. "In testing, it’s AEB [Automatic Emergency Braking] system performed just as well as some of the more expensive buys in the longlist too. It is also fitted with a class-leading Driver Assistance System, to support steering and braking.”

There's plenty of safety tech on board the Focus, including Pre-Collision Assist to detect cyclists and pedestrians in the road ahead to avoid collisions, or if they're about to cross the road; it warns the driver, and then applies the brakes. Also included is Evasive Steering Assist, which steers the car around a stationary or slower-moving vehicle if the system detects that a collision is about to occur. 

New price: £18,300 - £29,650
Lease this car from new

Used price: £12,615 - £23,530
Typical used monthly cost: £311 - £580
Fuel economy: 46 - 80 mpg

Read our full review of the Ford Focus

Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar I-Pace - the safest cars for 2019

Jaguar has brought this luxury electric car to the market to rival the Tesla Model X - albeit a much larger car - and got to the electric SUV mark before the Audi E-Tron and Mercedes-Benz EQC hit the ground. 

Avery said: “One of two Electric Vehicles among our ten safest cars of the year, successfully allaying concerns around the safety performance of EVs. Very high Adult Occupant Protection (94%) and crash avoidance technology (81%) scores too.”

New price: £64,495 - £74,995
Lease this car from new
Used price: £54,750 - £75,275

Read our full review of the Jaguar I-Pace

Lexus ES

Lexus ES - the safest cars for 2019

Although this is a new car to the UK market, the ES is actually the best-selling Lexus saloon in the world, and is in its seventh generation. It's hybrid only, although we're unlikely to see a plug-in model - this is a self-charging hybrid. The new platform has meant a raft of safety technology, including 'daytime cyclist detection' and adjustments to its radar sensitivity to better spot pedestrians at night. 

“A Best in Class Euro NCAP winner in the large family car segment, the Lexus ES is another top safety performer from a carmaker with a consistent approach to safety,” Avery said.

New price: £35,150 - £45,650
Lease this car from new
Used price: £28,600 - £36,740
Typical used monthly cost: £705 - £906
Fuel economy: 61 - 64 mpg

Read our full review of the Lexus ES

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - the safest cars for 2019

Avery said: “Top-level safety, with the second-lowest price tag in the list. The only car in the top ten to reach 90% in terms of its overall Euro NCAP score. Mercedes has shown that volume sales and market leading safety technology need not be mutually exclusive. It too has a high performing driver assistance system to take some of the burden on long drives, adding to its safety credentials while marking an early step towards automation.”

The A-Class is packed to the rafters with safety tech, as we've come to expect, including active emergency brake assist, active lane change assist, and active blindspot assist, among others. 

New price: £23,075 - £38,960
Lease this car from new
Used price: £16,630 - £29,025
Typical used monthly cost: £410 - £716
Fuel economy: 38 - 68 mpg

Read our full Mercedes-Benz A-Class review

Nissan Leaf

Nissan LEAF - the safest cars for 2019

The Leaf's cutting-edge image is combined with lots of safety technology, including cross-traffic alert, blindspot monitoring, and electronic stability control. Also available is the ProPilot system, on the top-spec Tekna, which combines active cruise control with lane-keep assist. It's pretty consistent, although not as sophisticated as systems available on other cars these days. 

“The Nissan Leaf was the first car to go through Euro NCAP’s updated testing regime and has a cyclist detection and avoidance system to protect vulnerable road users," Avery said. "Another electric vehicle in the top ten, offering further reassurance to anyone with concerns about electric battery compromise in crashes.”

New price: £30,190 - £33,390
Lease this car from new
Used price: £17,515 - £26,555
Typical used monthly cost: £432 - £655

Read our full Nissan Leaf review

Peugeot 508

Peugeot 508 - the safest cars for 2019

Avery said: “The second highest Adult Occupant Protection score (96%) of the year, and strong performance across all other judging categories. A very good Speed Assistance System too, along with optimal protection for child passengers in the rear.”

Plenty of safety equipment comes as standard in the Peugeot 508, plus three Isofix points for child seats. There are six airbags as standard, speed limit recognition, a distance alert system and autonomous emergency braking. You can also add more safety kit from the options list. 

New price: £25,039 - £37,439
Lease this car from new
Used price: £18,250 - £27,995
Typical used monthly cost: £450 - £691
Fuel economy: 49 - 76 mpg

Read our full Peugeot 508 review

Volvo S60/V60

Volvo V60 - the safest cars for 2019

“Every car Volvo has produced has achieved the maximum Euro NCAP star rating, and every car has featured at the top end of the Safety Award longlist since it began in 2015," Avery said. "The Volvo S60 and V60 are, of course, no different, with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 96%.”

Lots of safety sophisticated equipment comes as standard on all V60s, including City Safety automatic braking tech, Run-off Road Mitigation and Run-off Road Protection. The only downpoint is that the V60 only has two Isofix points. 

Volvo V60
New price:
£32,410 - £41,460
Lease this car from new

Used price: £21,115 - £37,290
Typical used monthly cost: £521 - £920
Fuel economy: 40 - 64 mpg

Read our full review of the Volvo V60 and the Volvo S60

Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40 - the safest cars for 2019

Avery said: “The XC40, Volvo’s offering in the burgeoning small SUV market, offers the highest Adult Occupant Protection score of any car tested last year. Its Pilot Assist system, combining Adaptive Cruise Control and Steering Support, is also very good.”

Again the Volvo offers a wide range of safety gear in the XC40, plus additional options too. Standard equipment includes Driver Altert Control to detect erratic driving and warn the driver to take a break, the ability to set a maximum speed limit, and a Road Sign Information system which displays oncoming road sign info on the dashboard display. 

New price: £28,310 - £38,320
Used price: £22,770 - £41,290
Typical used monthly cost: £562 - £1,018
Fuel economy: 39 - 58 mpg

Read our full Volvo XC40 review 

*Prices correct at the time of publication and are all subject to change.