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Safest Cars To Buy in 2020

Safest Cars To Buy in 2020

From small family cars to large MPVs, we've rounded up the safest new cars you can buy in the UK in 2020.

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Safety is one of the most important considerations for many people when they are buying a car. If you want to know which is the safest car to buy in the UK, it is helpful to look at the Euro NCAP Safety ratings, which now grades cars on a range of safety features and each year names the best in class for car safety.

Since the introduction of the New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) in 1997, it is estimated Euro NCAP Safety Ratings have saved more than 78,000 lives by encouraging manufacturers to produce safer vehicles.

When the tests were first introduced, they were controversial among carmakers. Manufacturers complained that Euro NCAP tests were too stringent and that it would be impossible to achieve a high score, with some of the most popular cars of the time (including the Rover 100, Fiat Punto, and Nissan Micra) achieving only one or two stars for safety. But more than 20 years on, and with the tests becoming more comprehensive over the years, new cars are consistently awarded four or five-star ratings.

The Safety Ratings can also have an impact on insurance costs. As of 2014, new cars have been required to come equipped with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) to score the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP safety tests. Insurers may consider cars with AEB to be less at risk of being at fault in a crash, as research has found AEB reduces the risk of accidents by up to 27%.

Our list of the ten safest cars in the UK in 2020 is based on the latest five-star Euro NCAP ratings available in 2020 in different car classes. While star ratings cannot be compared directly between different categories of vehicle, we have picked some of the highest-scoring in each class.

Safest small family cars

Mercedes-Benz CLA Mercedes-Benz CLA

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 96% Child occupant: 91% Pedestrian: 92% Safety assist: 75%

The Mercedes-Benz CLA is one of the safest small cars available to buy in 2020. It scored an impressive 96% in the 2019 NCAP test for adult occupant safety, thanks in part to its advanced airbag protection.

Mazda 3 Mazda 3

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 98% Child occupant: 87% Pedestrian: 81% Safety assist: 73%

The Mazda 3 boasts an impressive 98% score for adult occupant safety. With a five-star rating overall, it's a safe choice for those on the lookout for a small family car. In fact, it is one of the safest small cars on the road in the UK in 2020.

VW Golf VW Golf

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 95% Child occupant: 89% Pedestrian: 76% Safety assist: 78%

The VW Golf has long been one of the UK’s most popular cars thanks to its outstanding styling and handling qualities. It's also one of the safest small family cars on the market.

BMW 1 Series BMW 1 Series

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 83% Child occupant: 87% Pedestrian: 76% Safety assist: 72%

The BMW 1 Series is a popular choice for a small family car, and it is no surprise with a five-star safety rating. Adult and child occupants are well protected, and the safety assist features also scored highly in tests.

Safest large family cars

Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 96% Child occupant: 86% Pedestrian: 74% Safety assist: 94%

The Tesla Model 3 has very high scores for adult and child occupant safety in the latest Euro NCAP tests. It's also best in class for hybrid and electric cars, too. It's one of the safest large family cars in the UK in 2020.

BMW 3 Series BMW 3 Series

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 97% Child occupant: 87% Pedestrian: 87% Safety assist: 76%

The BMW 3 Series is a popular choice for a large family car, benefitting from a five-star safety rating and very high adult and child occupant safety.

Ford Mondeo Ford Mondeo

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 96% Child occupant: 87% Pedestrian: 70% Safety assist: 73%

The Ford Mondeo is a safe bet for those looking for a large family vehicle, with very high scores for adult and child occupant safety in the latest Euro NCAP tests.

Skoda Octavia Skoda Octavia

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 92% Child occupant: 88% Pedestrian: 73% Safety assist: 79%

The Skoda Octavia ES boasts an impressive 92% score for adult occupant safety. With a five-star rating overall, it’s a safe choice for those on the lookout for a large family car.

Safest small MPV

Volkswagen T-Cross VW T-cross

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 97% Child occupant: 86% Pedestrian: 81% Safety assist: 80%

The Volkswagen T-Cross achieved a five-star safety rating in the 2019 Euro NCAP safety tests, putting it at the top of the 2019 Euro NCAP safety ratings in the small MPV category.

Safest small off-road vehicles

Subaru Forester Subaru Forester

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 97% Child occupant: 91% Pedestrian: 80% Safety assist: 78%

The Subaru Forester has for a long time had a reputation for performance, but now it's becoming known for its advanced safety features. It scores a near-perfect 97% for adult occupant safety, and five stars overall. It's one of the safest off-road small cars in the UK in 2020.

Safest large off-road vehicles

Tesla X Telsa X

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 97% Child occupant: 81% Pedestrian: 72% Safety assist: 94%

The latest ratings show the Tesla X has some impressive safety features, including a high adult and child occupant Safety Rating, making it a top consideration for families with children. It's also an environmentally friendly option.

Seat Tarraco  Seat Tarraco

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 97% Child occupant: 84% Pedestrian: 79% Safety assist: 79%

In the large off road 4x4 class the Seat Tarraco comes with an impressive range of safety features as standard, with even more available with the safety pack option. Even without the upgrade, the standard version scores a five-star safety rating and is one of the safest cars in the UK in its class.

Safest executive cars

Porsche Taycan Porshe Tycan

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 85% Child occupant: 83% Pedestrian: 70% Safety assist: 73%

A new entry to the luxury car market, Porsche's first full-electric sports car is performance-orientated with green credentials. It also scores highly on the safety tests. It's one of the safest rated cars in the executive class, with a set of impressive Euro NCAP safety ratings.

Audi A6 Audi A6

Euro NCAP safety scores (2019) Adult occupant: 93% Child occupant: 85% Pedestrian: 81% Safety assist: 76%

The Audi A6 is an executive car with the added benefit of advanced safety features. The new A6 scored five stars when tested by Euro NCAP in 2019.

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