The Fiat Punto becomes the first car tested for Euro NCAP safety to get zero stars, but there are five stars for Jaguar, Kia, Hyundai and BMW.
Perhaps the biggest news – and an illustration of how much stricter safety standards have become – is that the venerable Fiat Punto is the first car ever to be given zero stars in the tests.
As car models live longer, Euro NCAP has decided to re-test updated models too, and that has seen the rather basic Punto, devoid of the electronic nannies we get today, relegated to the bottom drawer of cars on the market.
Others have suffered too, with many dropping from five to three stars, including the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Ford C-Max and Grand C-Max, DS3 and the Toyota Aygo (although the Aygo gets four stars if it has the optional safety equipment fitted).
Of the new cars tested, the Hyundai Kona, Kia Stinger, BMW 6 Series and Jaguar F-Pace all got five stars, and the MG ZS, Dacia Duster 2 and Kia Stonic got three stars, although the Stonic does get five stars if it has the optional safety equipment.
Euro NCAP boss, Michiel van Ratingen, said:
The fact that older cars cannot compete illustrates the pace at which the vehicle industry is innovating safety and the willingness and ability of competitive manufacturers to meet the highest standards. Those who do not keep their cars up to the latest standards get left behind, as these results clearly show.
We can’t see the Italians – who still buy the Punto in decent numbers – being put off by the latest zero rating, but it does show how much safer cars have become in the last decade.