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Small cars are much safer than 20 years ago

6 February 2017

Euro NCAP started testing crash-testing cars in 1997 and since then they have published over 630 safety ratings and crash-tested around 1 800 vehicles.

To illustrate just how much safety standards have improved over the last 20 years, Euro NCAP put together a demonstration featuring two small family cars built 20 years apart, the 1997 Rover 100 and the 2015 Honda Jazz.

“We are very proud – as we mark 20 years at the forefront of road safety – that Euro NCAP’s programme of safety tests has achieved major, life-saving improvements in cars and has helped Europe reach the lowest road fatality rate for any region in the world,” stated Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen.

Back in 1997, the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo achieved three stars out of the then-maximum of four, while the Rover 100 scored only one star, other similar small cars like the Fiat Punto, Nissan Micra, Opel Corsa and Renault Clio earned two-star ratings. Manufacturers complained that it was impossible to achieve four stars until five months later, Volvo’s S40 became the first-ever car tested by Euro NCAP to be awarded the four-star safety rating.