26th November 2014
What Car has announced they will be handing out a brand new award at their annual Car of the Year Awards in January. The new award will recognise the safest cars on the road, and the criteria will be assessed on a number of factors. The award which has been created in conjunction with Thatcham Research Centre will only be open to vehicles that have achieved the maximum five star rating from independent testing organisation Euro NCAP. Other factors the judges will be looking at will be how each car performed in the various safety tests carried out by Euro NCAP including including Adult Occupant Protection, and Child Occupant Protection. They will also be looking at how each car ranked in the Safety Assist test which looks at safety systems inside cars and how they help prevent accidents. All those vehicles nominated will have to be fitted be fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), and be available for consumers to buy in the UK as of 7th January 2015.
The top three safest cars will be chosen by Thatcham Reseacrh and an independent panel of safety experts. The winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony in London's Grosvenor House Hotel on January 7th 2015.
What Car have so far compiled a shortlist of some of the safest cars that have achieved that five star Euro NCAP rating. Last years overall Car of the Year winner the Nissan Qashqai is one of those shortlisted for the award, along with fellow Nissan models the New Nissan Pulsar and Nissan X-Trail. German luxury brand Mercedes-Benz have three of their models in the shortlist; Mercedes-Benz V-Class, C-Class and the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. The popular Skoda Fabia is also in the running thanks to its relaiblitly and safety features.
Other models on the shortlist include the BMW 2 Series, the Tesla Model S and Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan. What Car have also complied a list of cars that may also be in contention for the safety awards once their Euro NCAP rating is made public they include:
The What Car Awards are highly anticipated by both the automotive industry and the buying public as they are a good indication of what cars will be popular in the coming year. The new safety award is certain to be welcomed by everyone as safety is such an important priority when buying a new or used car.
Speaking of the new award What Car editor Jim Holder said: When people are looking to buy a car, there are certain requirements that they will automatically have in their minds. Among the foremost of these is safety, especially if they are planning to use the vehicle to transport their family.
"We felt it was only right that such an important consideration in the car-buying process is reflected in our Car of the Year Awards. "It will also be a chance for us to celebrate and applaud the work that manufacturers do and the lengths they go to in order to make sure that the cars we drive keep us as safe as possible."
Matthew Avery, Director of Safety at Thatcham Research Centre, added: "We are delighted to support this new, important award category. Our research on new vehicles, carried out on behalf of our motor insurer members, is increasingly focusing on safety features.
We have led the testing protocols for systems such as AEB and we are already seeing significantly reduced accident rates on UK roads as a result.
By Jenna Niblock