The all-new Opel Ampera-e could be considered one of the biggest disappointments from Euro NCAP’s latest batch of tested vehicles. Six cars were awarder five stars, but the German brother of the Chevrolet Bolt got only four.
The all-electric vehicle performed relatively well in most of the categories, but the organization points out it has no seatbelt reminder for the rear seats. While this might sound like a minor issue, General Secretary of Euro NCAP Michiel van Ratingen says “we know how effective these reminders are at promoting seatbelt use, so this is clearly a big step backwards on Opel’s part.” It’s a trend the German manufacturer set with the new Insignia which offered rear seatbelt reminders only as an option.
On the positive side, the Ampera-e is praised for its autonomous emergency braking system, which performed well in tests of its highway-speed functionality, with collisions avoided or mitigated in all test scenarios.
The Ford Fiesta, Jeep Compass, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet, Opel Grandland X, and Renault Koleos all received five stars. The Fiesta becomes only the second supermini to join the five-star club this year, following the excellent results from the new SEAT Ibiza. Kia’s Picanto and Rio received three stars with the standard equipment, but were rated as four and five stars respectively when tested with the optional safety packs.
Euro NCAP was not particularly happy by the apparent lack of restraint robustness in side impact testing by some of the models. In the Jeep Compass, for example, dummy readings indicated injury risk values above the limit to qualify for points in the pole test, while in the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet, during the side barrier test, the side airbag did not fully cover the impact area.
“Euro NCAP is pushing for the fitment of advanced technologies and manufacturers have responded well, with AEB now commonplace on most new cars,” Ratingen added. “However, they should not forget the basics of occupant protection in case of a crash.”
Source: Euro NCAP