Euro NCAP – the organisation that crash tests passenger vehicles – has recognised the best performing models in six classes.
Last year, staff at the New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) put thirty-three new cars to the test, with twenty-two of these achieving a full five-star rating.
The Mercedes-EQ EQS won two titles in the 2021 Best in Class awards as it finished top of the pile in both the ‘Executive Car’ and ‘Pure Electric’ categories, narrowly beating the Polestar 2.
In the ‘Small Off-Road’ division, the Nissan Qashqai scooped top honours, with Euro NCAP praising its “outstanding performance in active safety”.
As for the “Large-Off Road” award, this went to Škoda’s first all-electric SUV – the Enyaq iV. Like Mercedes, the Czech company was a double winner as its Fabia supermini was crowned best ‘Small Family Car’.
The final gong of 2021 – ‘Small MPV’ – was won by the Toyota Yaris Cross from the Volkswagen Caddy.
In order to be shortlisted for an award, at least three vehicles in the same category must have been assessed. If not, no title is awarded.
Cars must also be rated as five stars with standard equipment only, and have the highest overall score of the cars in the same category.
Euro NCAP Secretary General Dr Michiel van Ratigen said: “2021 was a tough year for the car industry: a shortage of parts, semiconductors in particular, was the sting in the tail of the COVID crisis, affecting development timelines, production and sales.
“Still, we saw quite a number of new car models coming to the market, many of them electric or hybrid, and many of them achieving five-star ratings despite the demanding requirements.
“Well done to the winners as well as to the runners-up, some of which were very close contenders for the top slot in their respective categories,” he added.
Euro NPCA has released a short video showing how the Best in Class cars of 2021 performed during its crash test regime at its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium.