European crash testing agency Euro NCAP has released a list of the safest cars of 2009, based on overall ratings throughout the year.
The Volkswagen Golf VI came top of the pile, with a five-star rating and score of 97 percent for adult passenger protection and 84 percent for child protection. The Golf was also Europe's best-selling car of 2009, according to industry analyst JATO Dynamics. The Honda Insight came second, scoring 90 percent for adult protection and 74 percent for child protection but boosting its score with an impressive 76 percent for pedestrian protection.
Toyota's Prius and the Hyundai i20 took third and fourth place in the list respectively whilst three cars tied for fifth place - the Toyota Avensis, Volvo XC60 and the Opel/Vauxhall Astra. In total, Euro NCAP tested 33 car models in 2009, using up to three cars. Vehicles are normally put through four crash tests and then assessed by an inspector who also assesses the interior safety mechanisms.
Euro NCAP's poorest results of the year were achieved by the Suzuki Alto and the Toyota Urban Cruiser, which both received three stars. The inclusion of two cars in the top five will be a glimmer of good news in an otherwise bleak outlook for Toyota, which recently recalled 2.3 million vehicles in the US and 75,000 in China due to issues with the accelerator pedal.
The Safest Cars of 2009
Information from Euro NCAP
1. VW Golf VI
2. Honda Insight
3. Toyota Prius
4. Hyundai i20
5. Toyota Avensis
5. Volvo XC60
5. Opel/Vauxhall Astra
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