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Eight five-star results in latest Euro NCAP tests

But the new Hyundai Kona was described as a "real disappointment" thanks to "sub-standard" assistance tech

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Safety body Euro NCAP has released its final batch of crash test ratings this year, including assessments of the Kia EV9, the latest iterations of Hyundai Kona and BMW 5 Series, and the Smart #3.

Eleven new cars were crash tested in total in this batch of assessments, with eight of them achieving full five-star safety scores.

The large Kia EV9 is one of these full-five star safety rating recipients. Euro NCAP comments that the SUV comes kitted out with a range of child safety equipment, and achieved top marks comfortably.

The smaller second-generation Hyundai Kona was instead given a four-star rating (which also stands for the Hyundai Kona Electric), which Euro NCAP called a “real disappointment”. The SUV was reportedly “lucky to avoid” a three-star rating, as safety testers concluded that the Hyundai has “sub-standard” driver assistance and crash avoidance technology.

This batch of Euro NCAP crash tests also included assessments of two saloon models – the Volkswagen ID.7 and the new BMW 5 Series (including the electric i5), which were both given five-star ratings.

The ID.7 was labelled an “excellent all-round performer” and given a 95% ‘Adult Protection’ score – one of the year’s best overall scores. The 5 Series was reportedly impressive too, but Euro NCAP adds that the saloon was not quite as good at protecting occupants in the frontal crash test.

Euro NCAP crash tests of the upcoming Smart #3 SUV resulted in another five-star rating, but only just. Safety testers comment that the Smart still has “some challenges” with improving side impact protection.

The electric Mercedes-Benz EQE was also given a full crash test assessment as part of this batch, and as you might guess was given top marks. The SUV is said to have the excellent safety assistance technologies to match its high price tag, but crash testers add that the car was “let down by the lack of robustness in the car’s centre airbag system, which showed potential head injury for occupants in the front.”

Now onto the Honda ZR-V hybrid, which was given four stars. Honda will be disappointed that the SUV just missed out on top marks – while it has solid safety scores across the board, the standard model is missing some of the safety tech usually included as standard on other models tested here, including the absence of a driver alertness monitoring system.

Well, that’s seven of the models – what about the rest? The final four are from Chinese or Vietnamese brands you might not have heard of. This batch included the BYD Seal U SUV (which is set for a UK arrival sometime in 2024) and the BYD Tang (which isn’t likely to go on sale in the UK in the foreseeable future), both of which achieved five stars.

The Chinese brand XPeng will launch in Britain next year, and its G9 SUV was given top marks, and Euro NCAP also put the Vietnamese Vinfast VF8 SUV through its paces, and gave the car a four-star rating.

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Sean Rees
Sean Rees
Sean is the Deputy Editor at The Car Expert. A enthusiastic fan of motorsport and all things automotive, he is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, and is now focused on helping those in car-buying need with independent and impartial advice.