Ford and FIAT only score three stars in new Euro NCAP safety ratings

  • Six new cars’ safety ratings announced
  • Ford’s brand-new Ka+ only gets three stars
  • So too does the FIAT 500

Euro NCAP has today released the safety ratings for six cars, and both Ford and Fiat have fallen short.

The brand-new Ka+ only scored three stars. This comes after the Ford Mustang only scored two stars - so is Ford not taking safety seriously?

Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen, said: ‘Unfortunately, high hopes for the segment are smashed by Ford by releasing a brand new Ka+ with mediocre safety performance. The car lacks the more sophisticated restraint systems offered by most of its rivals, let alone more sophisticated technology like autonomous braking.’

‘Safety continues to be one of the highest priorities in the design of Ford’

 The Ford Ka+ only scored three stars

Parkers questioned Ford about how high a priority safety really is to the company. A spokesman responded:

‘Safety continues to be one of the highest priorities in the design of Ford vehicles and we are committed to designing and building vehicles that meet or exceed safety requirements across the globe.

‘The KA+ is a safe vehicle, equipped with advanced safety features with a structure designed to manage crash energy under a variety of crash modes. 

‘The KA+ body structure has been extensively tested with more than 8,000 hours of computer-aided crash simulation undertaken alongside a comprehensive crash test program to ensure impact performance and pedestrian protection.’

But if safety is a high priority for Ford, why does a brand-new car not match the safety features of most other cars on the market? 

The Euro NCAP safety tests are advancing beyond standard car safety features, demanding more automatic systems that the new Ford simply does not possess. 

Fiat’s aging 500 also only received three stars 

The FIAT 500 only scored three stars

The Fiat 500 previously scored five out of five stars for safety - the car hasn’t suddenly become unsafe. The drop from five to three stars shows how far the perimeters of the safety tests have evolved.

In the full-width frontal crash test, the 500 showed poor protection of both the driver and the rear seat passenger. In the Ka+, chest protection was rated as poor.

Both cars also lack autonomous braking technology, already offered on half of new models today.

With the increasing popularity of superminis in the European market, safety features often come second to style in attempts to keep costs low. Both the Fiat 500 and the Ford Ka+ lack rear seatbelt pre-tensioners and load-limiters, by now standard on most cars on the market.

High ratings for Audi, Land Rover, and Toyota

The Audi Q5, Land Rover Discovery, and Toyota C-HR all scored five stars; the Citroen C3 received four stars.

The C3 performed much more robustly than the Ford and Fiat: it narrowly missed a top five-star rating, falling short of the threshold in pedestrian protection.

Five stars for the Discovery but it’s not flawless

Despite scoring highly with five overall stars, the Land Rover Discovery still had its problems; in the frontal offset test, the driver airbag bottomed out owing to insufficient pressure and, in the side barrier test, the driver’s door became unlatched.

The Land Rover Discovery scored five out of five