Making Sense Of The Euro NCAP Ratings System

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When you see a vehicle’s safety rating, do you immediately know what it means or are you, like many, a bit left in the dark as to how an organization came to that conclusion?

Whether you know what they signify or not, these safety ratings are critical when you set out to purchase a new car, and thus you might turn your attention to a recent report that attempts to shed some light on the Euro NCAP rating.

Basically, every vehicle put through the rigors will receive a rating of one to five stars.  But what makes matters slightly confusing is the fact that one particular three star vehicle could be remarkably different from another automobile with the same rating.

How can this be?  Well, vehicles are assigned stars based off of whether they meet the requirements of a certain category.  Those categories consist of pedestrian safety, safety assist (things like Electronic Stability Control and Lane Assistance), and child and adult safety.  So one vehicle could pass the child and adult safety standard yet another might protect pedestrians yet fare poorly when it comes to child safety.  Same rating, very different reasoning.

As a buyer, it’s important that you figure out what matters most to you in terms of safety.  Don’t be afraid to conduct research and ask the dealer what the star ratings mean.  Pick the vehicle that’s going to do the best job protecting you and your family.