Poor safety score for Dacia but praise for VW and Skoda
EURO NCAP, the car safety testing organisation, has issued results for three new models.
Volkswagen's new all-electric ID4 SUV and the closely-related Skoda Enyaq were each given a maximum five-star rating.
There was less good news for the latest Dacia Sandero, which achieved only a two-star rating.
In addition, Euro NCAP added the plug-in hybrid version of the Cupra Formentor to that model's existing five-star rating.
Unsurprisingly, the Skoda and VW scored very closely in the safety tests, though the ID4 edges it because it gets a 'local hazard warning' system as standard. This isn't yet available on the Enyaq.
Local hazard warning allows cars fitted with the technology to communicate with each other and their surroundings to give drivers early warning of what is on the route ahead.
Nothing so advanced can be found on the Dacia, which has what Euro NCAP described as a "pared-down" safety specification.
"The basic, radar-only autonomous emergency braking system reacts only to other vehicles - soon a legal requirement - but it is not designed to prevent crashes with pedestrians or cyclists and there is no lane support," said the organisation.
"However, crash protection is respectable, with performance that would make the car a four-star performer if it were not for its shortcomings elsewhere."
Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen said that "safety has moved on, and the biggest strides forward are now being made by using high-tech to prevent accidents from happening".
"Clearly, Dacia have found their market and they're sticking to it, but a two-star rating shows little ambition, even for a low-cost product.
"Skoda and VW, on the other hand, show what can be achieved and Euro NCAP applaud them for offering their customers the highest level of safety."