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Best-selling Motors Are the Safest Cars?

According to experts, best-selling cars are not always the safest. Euro NCAP has released today the results of Europe's best selling cars and unfortunately, only eight out of twelve vehicles received the maximum award of five stars regarding adult safety.

Top scores for adult protection in Euro NCAP's release go to the Alfa Romeo Mito, Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 308CC, Volkswagen Golf VI, Renault Megane, Honda Accord, Opel Insignia and the Volvo XC60.  Unfortunately, not all of them obtained the same score concerning child or pedestrian protection.

For Pick-up category, statistics show that Ford Ranger is on top of customer choices. However, according to Euro NCAP, the vehicle is the least safe when it comes adult protection among all the best-selling cars. According to the same source, protection of the driver's chest was rated as weak, mainly due to the threat posed by the extent of structural collapse. The Ranger lost stars because of the following: collapse of the A-pillar and the extent of rearward movement of the steering wheel, the risk posed to the driver's lower legs by upward movement of the brake pedal, rupture of the footwell and rearward displacement of the pedals, which exceeded 400mm. Moreover, there was insufficient pressure in the airbag to prevent the head from contacting the steering wheel. Unfortunately, the Ranger didn't do great at child protection and pedestrian either. The child's protection was rated 3 stars, while pedestrian's safety 2 as the bonnet got no points for the defense it offered to pedestrian legs.

Moving down to the Supermini class, best-selling car Alfa Romeo MITo hit the maximum score for adult safety but lost points at child and pedestrian protection. Second most sold car, Dacia Sandero was rated with a basic level of safety for all three categories although child occupant protection (rated 4 stars) seemed to be one of the top priorities for its producers. On third and fourth place, we discover two models from Ford: Fiesta and Ka. While the first one got top score for adult occupant safety and four and three stars for child's and pedestrian's protection, respectively, the second one was rated as having basic safety equipment, obtaining one star less for each category than the previous model.

Coming to small family cars, best sold cars Peugeot 308CC, Renault Megane and VW Golf are the safest concerning adult protection. While all models  go beyond basic safety equipment when it comes to child safety, as far as pedestrians are concerned only the last one maintains its standard.

Among large family cars, Honda Accord and Opel/Vauxhall Insignia are both best-selling and safest models as far as adult's safety is concerned. Children are also very safe within these models, yet pedestrians were somehow left behind as both cars were rated 3 and 2 stars, respectively.

Regarding the Large MPV class, the majority of people chose to purchase Mercedes Benz Viano although it's not the safest car ever built.  Only four stars were granted for adult protection because, according to Euro NCAP, although the passenger compartment remained stable, spot welds in the driver's footwell became separated during the test. The model is no better regarding child's (three stars) and pedestrian protection (1 star).

Finally, for the Small Off-Road 4X4 category, Volvo is the best-selling vehicle and one of the safest cars as well.  Rated maximum points for adult protection and 4 stars for child safety, the model fails, however, when it comes to pedestrians. Only two stars were given to the model because protection was mostly poor for an adult's head and the front edge of the bonnet scored no points during the tests.
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