The UK’s independent safety research body, Thatcham Research, in conjunction with What Car? magazine, has declared the Mercedes-Benz A-Class to be the safest new car for 2019.
The shortlist of the ten safest new cars for 2019 was announced last month, with the A-Class going on to win the What Car? Safety Award ahead of the Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40.
Thatcham has sponsored the award for several years, and its judging panel determined the ten finalists based on a number of criteria. Beyond the obvious five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, the judges also considered:
- Euro NCAP crash test scores for both adult and child protection
- Performance in stringent new autonomous emergency braking (AEB) tests aimed at protecting cyclists and pedestrians
- Availability of automated driver assistance systems that help prevent collisions
- sales volumes, to determine the real difference a car is likely to make to real-world road safety
Matthew Avery is director of research at Thatcham Research and a judge for the What Car? Safety Award. He said: “It’s clear that occupants of the latest cars are at a lower risk than ever. But not resting on our laurels, we raised the bar in safety testing for 2018.
“This means the ten cars in this list are some of the safest ever made, anywhere in the world.”
We look at the ten cars below, comparing our notes with Thatcham’s. We kick off with the winning Mercedes and the runners-up, then progress in alphabetical order.
WINNER – Mercedes-Benz A-Class
We said: “The new Mercedes A-Class has set a benchmark for the next generation of premium hatchbacks, and one that may prove tough to crack for impending competitors.
“For the image-conscious and tech-focused buyer, there may not be a better car on sale today.”
Thatcham said: “The Mercedes A-Class was the year’s top performer in the world’s most exacting safety tests. It’s exciting to see one of 2018’s best-selling cars meet that challenge and shows that carmakers can deliver state-of-the-art safety for the mass market.
“It aced the AEB Cyclist test, scoring 100%, and achieved an impressive 97% for the system’s ability to detect pedestrians. This high-performance safety technology is available – at no extra cost – on a car with UK sales in the tens of thousands and rising.”