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Five-star NCAP ratings for Audi A3 and Land Rover Defender

The new Audi A3 Sportback, Kia Sorento and Land Rover Defender are among the cars that have claimed a five-star safety verdict in Euro NCAP’s latest round of testing.

The final crash tests of 2020 brought a renewed focus on “improving vehicle compatibility”, with a new Mobile Progressive Deformable Barrier (MPDB) introduced in the frontal test to evaluate how “aggressive” a car is in an impact with a smaller vehicle.

The A3 and Seat Leon – both cars that sit atop the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform – matched the rating achieved by their Volkswagen Golf sibling at the end of 2019. 

The safety-testing body said that although the duo are “in no way inferior to their famous cousin”, it was the Leon that performed most favourably in their simulations, courtesy of its “more compatible front-end design”. 

Highlights for the Audi include its 89% adult occupant and 81% child occupant safety ratings, while the Seat scored 92% and 88% respectively. 

The new Defender improves substantially on the safety credentials of its blocky forebear by introducing a raft of advanced driver assistance systems including automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist, but it was marked down for its performance in the revised frontal test.

The new Sorento landed a five-star verdict, too, with its central airbag – a first for the manufacturer – and e-Call emergency response system highlighted as especially attractive features.

The “impressively equipped” Isuzu D-Max pick-up truck underwent crash-testing in Europe for the first time, following a successful verdict in Australia earlier this year. Its safety systems and airbags were marked out for praise, but its weight and front end, like the Defender, was deemed “aggressive to other vehicles in a collision”. Overall, it was deemed safe enough for a five-star rating.

Moving down the rankings, the Honda E missed out on a fifth star for lacking some of the advanced safety features found in its larger Jazz sibling and for sub-optimal performance in the side barrier test. 

The Hyundai i10 supermini, meanwhile, fared less favourably. NCAP said that the driver’s pelvis “slipped under the lap belt” in its full-width frontal impact test and that the car has a “more limited” AEB functionality than some of its rivals.  

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