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New Smart Fortwo and Forfour Receive 4-Star Rating from Euro NCAP

Safety was always one of the main selling points of the old Fortwo. The famous Tridion Safety Cell was subjected to all sorts of crazy tests, including being placed under a full-size Ford Excursion SUV.
New Smart Fortwo and Forfour Receive 4-Star Rating from Euro NCAP 1 photo
Unfortunately, Daimler won't be able to use the same marketing tools on the new Fortwo and Forfour models they developed with Renault because both received only a 4-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. It's not that the French have given them bad parts, just that the recent crash standards are more stringent. Even the new MINI Hatch, results for which were also released today, scored the same 4 stars.

The independent European safety body gave both the 2-door and the 4-door Smarts decent scores in some areas. Because it's slightly lighter, the Fortwo performed better in some of the crash tests both cars were subjected to. As a consequence, it received 82% for adult occupant protection, compared to just 78% for the Forfour.

It's comforting to know that passenger compartment of the two cars remained stable in the frontal impact. Dummy readings indicated good protection of the knees and femurs of both the driver and passenger. However, things were less rosy in the side barrier test, where protection of all body regions was good apart from the chest, where it was deemed weak in the severe pole test.

Euro NCAP says that the pole came extremely close to striking the dummy's head. While the dummy readings did not indicate a head impact in this test, Euro NCAP expressed its concerns over the protection provided by the current seat-mounted head/thorax airbag. According to them, however, Daimler have promised to optimize the protection provided in such impacts by the middle of 2015.

Because the Fortwo is strictly a two-seater, Euro NCAP never tested it for child occupant protection. However, they did give it good scores for the ease in which child seats can be installed and the fact that the front passenger airbag can be deactivated. As for the larger Forfour, it scored maximum points for its protection of the 18 month dummy in the crash tests. Forward movement of the head of the 3 year dummy, sat in a forward-facing restraint, was not excessive but neck tensile forces were high and the loading on the chest was also marginally high.

Because it's designed to be cheap, the bonnet of the new Smarts was not too kind to pedestrians and neither were the window pillars, which received poor scores. However, the front bumper of both cars was very malleable and provided good protection to pedestrians' legs.

Neither car was equipped with any sort of emergency braking system, not even as an option, while the lane assist was not scored because Euro NCAP believes most cars will not be equipped with it.

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