Fiat Punto Is the First Zero-Star Car in the EuroNCAP Safety Tests

Fiat Punto EuroNCAP test 7 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Fiat Punto 2017 EuroNCAP testFiat Punto 2017 EuroNCAP testFiat Punto 2017 EuroNCAP testFiat Punto 2017 EuroNCAP testFiat Punto 2017 EuroNCAP testFiat Punto 2017 EuroNCAP test
If you compare a 30-year-old car to its modern equivalent, the difference between the chances of you surviving in one versus the other are immediately apparent.
Safety has evolved alongside the growing levels of performance - which inevitably lead to higher speeds even if the limits remain the same - as well as the ever-larger number of cars on the roads. That's why you shouldn't kid yourself thinking the metal sheet is thicker on the old cars or something: in case of a collision, the modern car always comes out on top.

It's the same with those countries that don't impose any safety regulations for the cars sold on their markets. Nissan recently conducted a test where it crashed two of its most affordable models - the Mexican-made Tsuru and the U.S.-made Versa - head-on, with the results speaking for themselves.

The current Fiat Punto is a 2012 model, but in reality, the car dates back to 2005. That makes it 12 years old, which is a lot of time given the speed at which the industry is moving right now. If some people don't care about technology and gadgets and simply want a car that's affordable and reliable, they all care about staying alive.

EuroNCAP's latest tests show that doing that in the Fiat Punto might pose a challenge. The small Italian hatchback has achieved the unenviable performance of becoming the first ever car to receive zero stars in the European safety test, which automatically makes it the least safe car ever tested.

It's worth noting that the score came after a few adjustments in the way the grades are attributed (with more emphasis put on electronic aid systems, something the Punto lacks completely), but even so, that's still quite an undesirable feat.

The Punto scored 51% in the adult occupant safety test, 43% for the child occupant, 52% in the pedestrian test and an almost unbelievable 0% in the safety assist category. Very few segments of the dummy were painted green in the results to signal good protection, while quite a few were yellow (adequate) or orange (marginal). The rear passenger torso protection was considered weak in the frontal full-width crash.

Lateral impact results were surprisingly good considering the car did not come equipped with side airbags. However, the worst thing that can happen to you inside a Punto is to get hit from behind. Whiplash protection was "marginal" for the rear seats and "poor" (the lowest possible result) for the front ones.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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