This independent publication has uncovered many potentially deadly flaws with cars sold in Europe. Just off the top of our heads, we remember they discovered serious rollover behavior from pickups, a Ford Mondeo whose weight was technically illegal and a tip-over tendency on the new RAV4.
This week, they subjected an all-new Skoda Octavia to their rigorous procedure. We think this is particularly important since the Octavia is one of the best selling models within the VW Group. Many families rely on it, and while we wouldn't call it "unsafe" the Czech car did perform badly.
The Octavia conducted itself in a bad manner even at 70 kph (43 mph), as they say the ESC isn't working fast enough to correct the car. This behavior looks borderline acceptable. However, the same cannot be said about the Skoda Superb.
This bigger Skoda model recently got its mid-life update and with it comes a new version called the Superb iV. It's a plug-in hybrid and the added battery pack plus the wagon body appears to be creating a pendulum-like motion. Basically, you could crash in a moose-avoidance scenario.
The Passat GTE is the direct equivalent from Volkswagen, and it got tested as well. All the videos end with competitor models that pass the test, so you have an idea of what it should look like.