EuroNCAP, 11 cars under examination in the crash test: the electric Renault Zoe and Dacia Spring failed

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Last round of 2021 tests for EuroNCAP, and for the occasion the independent European safety body decided to share the results of 11 cars analyzing what it called “the best and worst that the automotive industry has to offer in different categories “. To do this, he tested 11 new models: seven obtained five stars (BMW iX, Genesis G70 and GV70, Mercedes EQS, Nissan Qashqai, Škoda Fabia and Volkswagen Caddy), two stopped at four (Fiat 500e and MG Marvel R ) but the real surprise – in negative – are the two scores with one and even zero stars, respectively for the Dacia Spring and the Renault Zoe.

Dacia and Renault beat on safety

Starting from the worst results, the one of the Zoe: the electric city car of 2013, the first to make the electric “mainstream”, received a restyling in 2020 that focused a lot on improving battery performance and range, but for EuroNCAP it left out the safety aspect. The seat-mounted side airbag that previously protected the head and chest has been replaced by a less effective chest-only airbag, which has lowered the safety level for adult occupants. For the European body, Zoe revealed “poor protection in the event of accidents in general, poor protection for vulnerable road users and a lack of significant accident prevention technology, which disqualifies her for any star”. In short, the Zoe has not passed more stringent tests and standards imposed by EuroNCAP for a couple of years now, resulting heavily penalized.

Ok for the environment, safety rejected: the crash test of the Renault Zoe electric car for Euro Ncap is zero stars

A little better Dacia, the low-cost brand of Renault: EuroNCAP has put the spotlight on the fact that the electric Spring is almost entirely based on the Renault City K-ZE produced in China, in turn based on the “problematic Renault Kwid”, sold in India and Brazil for several years. Despite being appreciated in Europe for essential lines and functionality and a low cost, for the European body the frugal vision of Dacia engineers went further: crash performance was generally defined as “problematic”, with “a high risk of injury potentially lethal ”for the driver’s chest and head of rear seat passengers in frontal impacts, and marginal chest protection in material impacts. These achievements, coupled with the scarcity of security technologies, have turned into a single star.

“Renault used to be synonymous with safety. The Laguna was the first car to be awarded five stars, way back in 2001 – he said on a harsh note Michiel van Ratingen, EuroNCAP Secretary General – But these disappointing results for Zoe and Dacia Spring show that safety has now become a collateral damage in the group’s switch to electric cars (…). It is cynical to offer the consumer an affordable green car if it carries a greater risk of injury in the event of an accident. Other cars, such as the Fiat Nuova 500, recently awarded a 5-star Green NCAP rating, demonstrate that safety must not be sacrificed for environmental sustainability ”.

Rikard Frediksson, safety consultant of the Swedish Transport Administration, for his part underlined “the significant differences that arise when it is decided not to increase the safety level of a vehicle that is kept in production. Particularly alarming is the manufacturer’s downgrading of the airbag when its vehicle has undergone restyling in other areas ”.

From electric supermini to high-end executive cars, the cars are being promoted

On the other hand, the result obtained by the other 9 cars tested was different: the 5-star winners of this round range from the very useful supermini and small minivans to high-end executive electric cars, with important differences in terms of engines and costs, but all achieved excellent results. in terms of protection and accident prevention. The new Nissan Qashqai, in particular, it performed very well in terms of Adas, la Mercedes EQS in the protection of adult occupants and children. Also there 500e and the brand new MG Marvel R they offered excellent performances for EuroNCAP, which awarded them with four stars even with some burrs. The hood of the electric supermini does not guarantee total and optimal protection of the weakest road users in the event of an impact, and the emergency braking was not entirely convincing in relation to the reaction to other vehicles, but the performance was more than satisfactory. in relation to the strict EuroNCAP requirements. MG’s Marvel R for its part has slipped on the prevention of weak road users with the autonomous emergency braking system.

“A ‘good’ to these manufacturers for offering consumers the levels of safety they expect,” said van Ratingen. “These results make it clear once again that safety is all about good engineering and less about the type of powertrain or of the price “.

To conclude the year, Euro NCAP also checked five new hybrid and electric variants of cars already tested in the previous years. The Audi A6 PHEV, Range Rover Evoque PHEV, Mazda 2 Hybrid share the 5 stars of 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively. Renault Kangoo shares the four-star rating obtained by the Kangoo earlier this year.

BMW iX – 5 stars

Adult protection 91%

Child protection 87%

Vulnerable user protection 73%

Safety Assist 81%

Genesis G70 – 5 stars

Adult protection 89%

Child protection 87%

Vulnerable user protection 76%

Safety Assist 88%

Genesis GV70- 5 stars

Adult protection 89%

Child protection 87%

Vulnerable user protection 64%

Safety Assist 87%

Mercedes EQS – 5 stars

Adult protection 96%

Child protection 91%

Vulnerable user protection 76%

Safety Assist 80%

Nissan Qashqai – 5 stars

Adult protection 91%

Child protection 91%

Vulnerable user protection 70%

Safety Assist 95%

Škoda Fabia – 5 stars

Adult protection 85%

Child protection 81%

Vulnerable user protection 70%

Safety Assist 71%

Volkswagen Caddy – 5 stars

Adult protection 84%

Child protection 82%

Vulnerable user protection 69%

Safety Assist 79%

Fiat 500e – 4 stars

Adult protection 76%

Child protection 80%

Vulnerable user protection 67%

Safety Assist 67%

MG Marvel R – 4 stars

Adult protection 80%

Child protection 75%

Vulnerable user protection 55%

Safety Assist 80%

Dacia Spring – 1 star

Adult protection 49%

Child protection 56%

Vulnerable user protection 39%

Safety Assist 32%

Renault Zoe – 0 stars

Adult protection 43%

Child protection 52%

Vulnerable user protection 41%

Safety Assist 14%

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