How To Read The Stars
Euro NCAP has created the five-star safety rating system to help consumers, their families and businesses compare vehicles more easily and to help them identify the safest choice for their needs.
The safety rating is determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.
While a safety rating can never fully capture the complexity of the real world, the vehicle improvements and the technology brought the past years about by the application of high safety standards have been shown to deliver a true benefit to consumers in Europe and to society as a whole.
The More Stars, The Better
The number of stars reflects how well the car performs in Euro NCAP tests, but it is also influenced by what safety equipment the vehicle manufacturer is offering in each market. So a high number of stars shows not only that the test result was good, but also that safety equipment on the tested model is readily available to all consumers in Europe. The star rating goes beyond the legal requirements and not all new vehicles need to undergo Euro NCAP tests. A car that just meets the minimum legal demands would not be eligible for any stars. This also means that a car which is rated poorly is not necessarily unsafe, but it is not as safe as its competitors that were rated better.
Look Out For The Latest Results
The five-star safety rating system continuously evolves as older technology matures and new innovations become available. This means that tests are updated regularly, new tests are added to the system and star levels adjusted. For this reason the year of test is vital for a correct interpretation of the car result.
THE LATEST STAR RATING IS ALWAYS THE MOST RELEVANT
The latest star rating is always the most relevant and comparing results over different years is only valid if the updates to the rating scheme were small. Recently, the inclusion of emerging crash avoidance technology has significantly altered the meaning of the stars.
The following provides some general guidance as to what safety performance the stars refer to in today's system:
5 stars safety: Overall good performance in crash protection. Well equipped with robust crash avoidance technology
4 stars safety: Overall good performance in crash protection; additional crash avoidance technology may be present
3 stars safety: Average to good occupant protection but lacking crash avoidance technology
2 stars safety: Nominal crash protection but lacking crash avoidance technology
1 star safety: Marginal crash protection