Alfa Romeo’s Golf-sized Giulietta has achieved a top five-star rating in Euro-NCAP safety tests, which were toughened last year, and it will still qualify as a five-star car when the standards are further tightened in 2012. The new model scored 87/100 in detailed NCAP assessments, higher than any other model in this bracket.

When Euro-NCAP tests were introduced in 1997, several leading models were awarded middling two- or three-star ratings, and even one-star ratings were not unknown; now five-star scores on today’s more demanding test are increasingly regarded as essential for mainstream cars.

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