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Safety is one of the main priorities when purchasing a new car, but it is not always the most popular cars that offer the best safety ratings. Trusted Dealers has put together a list of the safest small cars currently on the market to help you make that all important decision when purchasing a new or used car.
We’ve chosen the safest, small cars based on the scores achieved during crash tests carried out by Euro NCAP – the independent body that gives new cars an official safety rating. Cars are assessed by Euro NCAP in four areas: adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and safety assistance systems – the criteria gets tougher every year.
Renault was one of the first car makers to fully understand the significance of a good Euro NCAP rating and it has definitely paid off. In 2014, the Renault Clio was the highest-rated supermini for safety scoring an impressive 99% in the Safety Assist category due to a large standard safety kit list which included electronic stability control, seatbelt reminders front and rear, and a speed limiter. It also scored highly for crash protection. But the Clio is not just popular for its safety equipment, it’s a stylish car too and comes with the plush interior you’d expect from more expensive badges. It may not be as fun to drive as a Ford Fiesta, but it promises CO2 emissions as low as 83g/km from its 1.5dCi diesel model, making it one of the cleanest models in its class.
The Mazda is one of the best small cars in its class. It’s available with a wide range of efficient petrol and diesel engines whilst its also fun to drive, well-equipped and relatively good value. All versions are well equipped with a plethora of safety features contributing to the Mazda 3 receiving an outstanding safety performance rating from Euro NCAP. Features include a Rear Vehicle Monitoring system, which gives you more awareness of vehicles behind and to the side of your car. A Lane Departure Warning System which tells you if you’re about to leave your lane and an Emergency Stop Signalling System which flashes the hazard lights if you suddenly brake hard. Thanks to these active technologies, you can relax and enjoy your drive knowing you and your passengers are well protected.
The Kia Soul was updated in 2014 and is now taller, wider and longer than before making it an extremely roomy crossover which also sports a classy interior. Ride comfort is much improved in the latest model and it smooths out the lumps and bumps well. The boxy look of the Soul might not be to everyone’s taste, but thanks to the outstanding safety features, you can be safe in the knowledge you’re getting a good solid car for a very reasonable price. The latest version of the Soul received four out of five stars when crash-tested by Euro NCAP and every Soul comes fitted with front and side airbags, ISOFIX child-seat mounts, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, an immobiliser and doors that lock automatically when you set off.
The Fiat 500X supermini is one of the latest additions to the popular Fiat 500 range and it maintains the brand’s signature retro looks whilst maintaining a high quality spacious interior and plenty of practical and quirky features to keep occupants on their toes. The third model in the 500 line-up, the Fiat 500X boasts rugged looks and is built to compete against the Mini Countryman and the Jeep Renegade, which is does particularly well thanks to its stylish looks and genuine off-road capability. Safety was top of the priority list when the 500X was designed and as such the 500X features in Euro NCAP’s current list of safest family cars of 2015 thanks to advanced safety features such as six airbags, a tyre pressure monitoring system, front fog lights, electronic parking brake, hill start assist traction control, automatic windscreen demisting, plus the latest stability control and dynamic steering system.
The Skoda Fabia is arguably the best small car you can buy and has won numerous awards for its genuine good looks, spacious cabin, excellent drive capability, low CO2 emissions and competitive price tag. Furthermore, it scores highly in Euro NCAP safety tests – what more could you want from a supermini? Instrumental in turning the Skoda brand into one of credibility, the Fabia has gone from strength to strength over the years, and although it might not be the most exciting car in its class, its space, value and efficiency has continued to attract buyers. Safety in the Fabia is without compromise and includes features such as a driver enabled speed limiter, side airbags, curtain airbags and front airbags, not to mention its 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating – a fantastic buy.