Also tested was the new Suzuki Swift, due to go on sale in the UK in June, which received a disappointing three-star rating in its base specification. The premium SZ5 models will receive additional accident avoidance technology, which improves the score for those models to four stars. However, the SZ5 specification models start at an additional £3,500 over the entry-level Swift.
All four cars tested did receive five stars for adult occupant, child and pedestrian protection. The differences lay in the provision (or lack) of advanced accident avoidance systems like autonomous emergency braking (AEB).
The Skoda Kodiaq had the most advanced AEB system of the four cars tested, being able to detect both cars and pedestrians. The latest result means that all recently-tested Skodas have received five-star ratings.
The MINI Countryman also has AEB car-to-car as standard, which helped it secure the five-star rating, with pedestrian detection an additional-cost option.
The Nissan Micra receives a five-star rating across all models in the UK, although some models in the rest of Europe do not receive all the same safety equipment as standard and only receive a four-star rating as a result.
The Suzuki Swift was the only vehicle not to any AEB technology as standard equipment, although the optional safety pack does include AEB car-to-car. This was one factor in the Swift’s below-par three-star score.
The Euro NCAP ratings are based on a vehicle with safety equipment which is standard across the whole model range. Euro NCAP now allows manufacturers to have a second rating for vehicles that offer additional safety equipment as part of an extra-cost safety pack. To qualify for this second rating, manufacturers must commit to selling at least 25 percent of cars fitted with the option pack in the first three years, and 55 percent of sales in the following three years.