The Safest Cars in the UK: 2023 Edition

A Comprehensive Look into Euro NCAP’s Crash Testing System and the Safest Cars in the UK 2023


For more than two decades, Euro NCAP has served as a critical benchmark in determining automobile safety, ever since its inception in 1997. While it isn’t obligatory for car manufacturers to have their vehicles tested, doing so has become an essential part of the new car launch process.

The NCAP’s rigorous testing system is continually enhanced and updated, and this dynamic system reassures consumers that safety standards remain consistently high and up-to-date with technological advancements.

NCAP’s 4 Key Safety Criteria

At the core of the Euro NCAP’s assessments are four crucial safety aspects. Each category is meticulously examined to determine the overall safety profile of the vehicle:

  1. Adult Occupant Safety: This evaluates the level of protection offered to adults in the event of a collision.
  2. Child Occupant Safety: This aspect scrutinises the safeguards in place for child passengers during an accident.
  3. Vulnerable Road Users: This assessment considers the potential impact on pedestrians and cyclists in the unfortunate scenario of a collision.
  4. Safety Assist: Here, the presence and performance of active (preventive) and passive (injury-minimising) safety technology are evaluated.

These four pillars of safety contribute to a vehicle’s overall rating, which is denoted on a scale of one to five stars. Naturally, a five-star car provides superior crash protection.

Safety Assist Technology

In recent years, Safety Assist technology has taken centre stage in auto safety development. It plays a significant role in a car’s performance during testing. Building a structurally safe car is no longer a challenge; the spotlight is now on innovative safety technologies.

Recognising this shift, Euro NCAP introduced a dual-star rating system. It allows a car to be rated based on its standard configuration, and then again on its performance when equipped with optional safety features.

The Safest UK Cars 2023

In this review, we spotlight the top 10 standout vehicles for safety. All have achieved the coveted five-star rating in their standard form. We have intentionally excluded models that only reach the five-star mark with additional safety technology.


1. Tesla Model Y

Renowned for its advanced safety features, the Tesla Model Y has demonstrated commendable performance in the Euro NCAP safety evaluations. In terms of safety technology, it shares the same score with its sibling, the Tesla Model S. However, it surpasses the Model S when it comes to adult occupant protection, scoring an impressive 97% compared to the latter’s 94%.

A Closer Look at the Model Y’s Crash Test Performance

Euro NCAP testers offered high praise for the Model Y’s crash test performance. They observed that the vehicle would provide a relatively safe impact in the event of a frontal collision. This assertion was based on meticulous analysis of two key factors:

Deceleration of the Impact Trolley: By measuring the rate of deceleration of the impact trolley during the test, the experts were able to assess the force of impact a collision with the Model Y would create.

Post-Test Analysis of the Deformable Barrier: Following the collision test, the deformable barrier used in the crash test was carefully examined. The minimal deformation of the barrier further attests to the Model Y’s excellent crash mitigation capabilities.

The testers’ feedback underlines the Model Y’s impressive safety credentials. In the instance of a frontal collision, the vehicle’s design and safety features combine to minimise the impact force, providing additional protection for both the vehicle’s occupants and those in the other vehicle.


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2. Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S has stood the test of time, establishing itself as one of the safest cars on UK roads according to Euro NCAP. Despite being around for almost a decade, the Model S continues to hold its own in terms of safety features and technology, providing a high level of protection to both its passengers and pedestrians.

Unmatched Safety Ratings across All Categories

The Model S has demonstrated exemplary performance in every Euro NCAP safety category, offering outstanding protection to adult and child occupants alike. A substantial part of this impressive safety profile is attributed to an extensive airbag system and meticulously engineered crumple zones, designed to absorb and redistribute the impact during a collision.

In addition to occupant safety, the Model S also exhibits a strong commitment to the safety of vulnerable road users. The active bonnet and the car’s rounded-off styling are tailored to minimise the impact on pedestrians in the event of a collision, further enhancing its safety credentials.

Leading the Pack with Safety Technology

Where the Model S truly outshines its competitors is in the domain of safety technology. Scoring an almost perfect 98% in this category, the Model S showcases Tesla’s devotion to pioneering safety technology. This impressive score underlines the company’s ongoing commitment to leverage cutting-edge technology to enhance vehicular safety.

The Tesla Model S proves that age is just a number when it comes to safety. Despite being in the market for nearly a decade, the Model S continues to set high standards in safety, owing to its robust protective features, innovative design, and ground-breaking safety technology.


3. Lexus NX

The Lexus NX demonstrates a remarkable combination of style, luxury, and safety. The Japanese automaker has equipped this vehicle with a plethora of advanced safety features, ensuring a secure driving experience for all occupants.

State-of-the-art Safety Equipment in the Lexus NX

Among the notable safety features of the Lexus NX are the adaptive headlights. These intelligently designed lights adjust their beam direction based on the vehicle’s speed and steering angle, providing optimal illumination and improving night-time visibility.

Another feature that sets the Lexus NX apart is the dynamic radar-guided cruise control. This system enhances driving convenience and safety by maintaining a set speed and a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, reducing the likelihood of rear-end collisions.

Innovative Door Safety with E-latch System

Adding to the NX’s impressive safety portfolio is Lexus’s innovative E-latch system. This system employs electronic controls to manage the opening of the vehicle’s doors, reducing the risk of accidental door opening incidents.

What makes the E-latch system truly unique is its integration with the car’s blind-spot monitoring system. When the vehicle detects approaching traffic in the blind-spot area, the E-latch system prevents the occupants from exiting the vehicle, adding an extra layer of safety for passengers.

The Lexus NX exemplifies Lexus’s commitment to safety without compromising luxury and comfort. Its extensive suite of safety features, coupled with innovative additions like the E-latch system, affirm its position as a top contender in the realm of secure and stylish vehicles.


4. Mercedes EQE

The Mercedes EQE proudly stands as a testament to the impeccable safety standards and cutting-edge technology synonymous with the iconic German automaker. As the third Mercedes model to grace this list, the EQE reinforces the superior quality of the brand’s safety equipment.

Active Cruise Control System: A Leap Towards Autonomous Driving

A standout feature of the EQE is its active cruise control system, which offers a degree of self-driving capabilities. This state-of-the-art system aids in maintaining lane discipline, and it even possesses the intelligence to automatically reduce the car’s speed when it detects an approach to a corner at a potentially unsafe speed. This pioneering feature enhances driving safety and convenience, reinforcing Mercedes’ position at the forefront of vehicular technology.

High Scoring in Occupant Protection: A Safe Haven on Wheels

When it comes to passenger safety, the EQE does not compromise. The car boasts impressive scores in the adult and child occupant protection categories, scoring 95% and 91% respectively. These high scores reflect the EQE’s excellent crash isolation capabilities, ensuring maximum safety for all passengers in the event of a collision.

The Mercedes EQE is more than just a symbol of luxury. It epitomises the ideal fusion of German engineering and innovative safety technologies. Its remarkable features and high safety ratings make it one of the most secure and technologically advanced cars on the road today.


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5. Lexus RX

As one of Lexus’s premier models, the Lexus RX showcases outstanding safety performance, achieving near-perfect scores across all evaluation categories. Coupled with its cutting-edge suite of assistance technology, the RX stands as an embodiment of the brand’s commitment to safety.

Consistently High Safety Scores Across All Categories

The RX’s performance in the Euro NCAP safety evaluation is exceptional, achieving around 90% in each category. These high scores attest to Lexus’s focus on holistic safety design, ensuring that every aspect of the vehicle, from occupant protection to road user safety, is optimally addressed.

Innovative Assistance Technology for Enhanced Safety

The Lexus RX comes equipped with the latest suite of Lexus’s assistance technology. A key feature of this suite is a novel pre-collision system capable of detecting motorcycles ahead of the car. This innovative system enhances the vehicle’s safety performance, particularly in heavy traffic conditions where motorcycles are a common sight.

Beyond this, the RX’s safety package can be augmented with an active steering assist system. This intelligent feature constantly monitors the road for potential hazards. If it anticipates an accident that braking alone cannot prevent, it takes control of the steering to manoeuvre away from the impending collision. This proactive safety feature is another testament to Lexus’s pursuit of advanced safety technologies.

The Lexus RX offers not only luxury and performance but also exceptional safety. Its strong safety scores, combined with an advanced suite of assistance technology, make it a model choice for those prioritising safety alongside comfort and style.


6. Smart #1

The Smart #1 encapsulates a perfect blend of quality, advanced technology, and remarkable safety scores, setting a new standard for compact cars. This model is a testament to Smart’s commitment to delivering high-quality products that offer not just superior performance, but also exemplary safety.

Quality and Craftsmanship: Inside and Out

The Smart #1 boasts a meticulously crafted interior that exudes a feeling of quality. This attention to detail extends to its crisp infotainment system, which provides intuitive navigation and control of the car’s various functions, making every journey more enjoyable.

Impressive Safety Scores: A Priority on Protection

The Smart #1 excels when it comes to safety. Its crash performance has been highly commended, scoring an impressive 96% in the Euro NCAP’s adult occupant protection category. This high score underscores the vehicle’s outstanding protective features, demonstrating Smart’s prioritisation of passenger safety.

Sophisticated Adaptive Cruise Control: Stress-Free Driving

Adding to the car’s extensive safety features is a sophisticated adaptive cruise control system equipped with a stop and go function for traffic jams. This system autonomously adjusts the vehicle’s speed based on the flow of traffic, providing a smoother, safer, and less stressful driving experience, particularly in congested traffic conditions.

The Smart #1 is more than just a compact car. It is a comprehensive package of quality, comfort, and cutting-edge safety features that deliver a superior driving experience. Its impressive safety scores and advanced technology underscore its position as a leading model in its class.


7. Mercedes C-Class

Don’t let the compact design of the Mercedes C-Class fool you. This executive saloon is brimming with state-of-the-art safety technology, transforming it into a veritable fortress on wheels. It incorporates a host of driver assistance features, robust protective measures, and innovative safety systems, reaffirming Mercedes’ commitment to passenger and road user safety.

Driver Assistance Technology: Keeping You on the Right Path

Among the C-Class’s notable safety features is an array of driver assistance technology. These systems work harmoniously to maintain the car’s lane positioning and regulate its speed in accordance with the speed limit. This technology not only enhances driving convenience but also adds an extra layer of safety, mitigating the risk of lane deviation and speeding incidents.

Robust Safety Measures: Protection Inside and Out

Inside the cabin, the C-Class is equipped with multiple airbags and two Isofix points in the rear, ensuring optimal safety for all passengers, including children. These protective measures underline Mercedes’ focus on comprehensive safety, offering peace of mind to both drivers and passengers.

Active Bonnet: Reducing Pedestrian Injuries

An innovative safety feature of the C-Class is its active bonnet. In the unfortunate event of a collision with a pedestrian, the bonnet automatically lifts away from the car’s body to create a ‘landing pad.’ This mechanism minimises the impact force and, in turn, the potential injury to the pedestrian. This feature showcases Mercedes’ commitment to not only occupant safety but also the protection of vulnerable road users.

The Mercedes C-Class stands as a shining example of compact design meeting expansive safety features. Its impressive assortment of safety technology, robust protective measures, and innovative features like the active bonnet, make it a standout choice in the compact executive saloon segment.


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8. Mercedes T-Class

The Mercedes T-Class stands out in the realm of child occupant protection, scoring an outstanding 93% in the Euro NCAP’s category. Offering an array of safety features designed specifically for passenger protection, the T-Class provides peace of mind for families on the road.

Child Occupant Protection: Excellence in Safety

The T-Class has earned its top-notch safety credentials in the child occupant protection category. This was clearly demonstrated in the Euro NCAP’s testing, where both six-year-old and ten-year-old crash-test dummies emerged from their collisions almost unscathed. This performance underscores the T-Class’s exceptional ability to keep its youngest occupants safe and secure.

Standard Safety Kit: A Blend of Innovation and Protection

The standard safety kit on the T-Class is both extensive and innovative. It includes side airbags for rear passengers, adding an additional layer of protection for those seated at the back. Furthermore, the vehicle boasts three sets of Isofix points, one of which is conveniently located on the front passenger seat, enabling flexibility in child seat placement.

Notably, the T-Class features a centre airbag for front-seat passengers. This innovative safety feature helps prevent front-seat occupants from clashing heads in the event of an accident, further enhancing passenger safety.

The Mercedes T-Class sets a high bar for child occupant protection and comprehensive safety. Its exceptional safety scores and impressive safety features demonstrate Mercedes’ commitment to offering secure and reliable vehicles for families. The T-Class doesn’t just provide a luxurious driving experience, it ensures that every journey is as safe as possible.


9. Ora Funky Cat

The Ora Funky Cat, a pure-electric hatchback from the stables of Chinese automotive giant Great Wall Motors, stands tall in the realm of safety. Designed to rival the Volkswagen ID.3 and MG 4, this innovative vehicle proves that high safety standards are not exclusively a domain of European car manufacturers.

Sailing Through Euro NCAP’s Tests with Flying Colours

Despite its non-European origin, the Ora Funky Cat effortlessly passed the Euro NCAP’s stringent safety evaluations. Its performance in these tests underscores the vehicle’s robust design and the manufacturer’s commitment to global safety standards.

Top Scorer in Adult Occupant and Safety Equipment Categories

The Ora Funky Cat demonstrated exceptional performance in the adult occupant and safety equipment categories, scoring a noteworthy 92% and 93%, respectively. These high scores attest to the quality of the vehicle’s safety features and its ability to offer superior protection for adult passengers.

The Ora Funky Cat is a clear example of global innovation and safety coming together. This pure-electric hatchback, backed by impressive Euro NCAP safety scores, stands as a worthy competitor in the global automotive market. Its high safety standards and electric drivetrain make it an attractive and responsible choice for the environmentally conscious driver who values safety above all else.


10. Mazda CX-60

The Mazda CX-60 shines in the realm of vehicle safety, demonstrating commendable performance across all Euro NCAP’s evaluation categories. Its notable score in the vulnerable road user tests, coupled with an array of standard safety equipment and innovative technologies, makes it a strong contender in the field of car safety.

Impressive Performance in Vulnerable Road User Tests

The CX-60 stands out with an impressive 89% score in the Euro NCAP’s vulnerable road user tests. This high score represents Mazda’s commitment to ensuring the safety of not only the vehicle’s occupants but also pedestrians and cyclists sharing the road.

Extensive Safety Equipment: Protection for Every Journey

The CX-60 comes equipped with a plethora of standard safety features, including autonomous emergency braking, a blind-spot monitoring system, and lane-keeping assist. This suite of safety features helps prevent accidents and enhances the driver’s control of the vehicle. Moreover, the vehicle boasts more airbags than a stuntman’s storage cupboard, providing superior protection for occupants during collisions.

Driver Monitoring System: Alertness on the Road

An optional interior camera can be specified in the CX-60 that continuously monitors the driver’s face for signs of fatigue. When the system detects that the driver needs a rest, it will make appropriate recommendations. This innovative feature ensures that the driver remains alert on long journeys, contributing to safer driving.

The Mazda CX-60 offers an exceptional blend of safety features and driver assist technologies, ensuring safe and comfortable journeys. Its excellent performance in the Euro NCAP’s evaluations and extensive safety equipment underline its position as a reliable and safe vehicle choice.


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What are your options for extended UK car warranty cover?

We don’t want to complicate this, so we’ve kept it nice and simple. Here’s three great options for mechanical breakdown or electrical failure car warranty cover, that’ll give you all you need, including cover for wear & tear.

3-Star Car Warranty

Select this option if you want affordable cover for a long list of covered components. Gives you up to £7,000 claim limit towards the cost of parts, labour and VAT for the mechanical breakdown or electrical failure of covered parts.

4-Star Car Warranty

Select this option to cover a wide range of components on your vehicle, and get up to £7,000 claim limit towards the cost of parts, labour and VAT in the event of mechanical breakdown or electrical failure, or imminent failure identified during an MOT or service.

5-Star Car Warranty

Looking for comprehensive warranty protection? Our 5-Star warranty covers an extensive range of parts and offers up to £7,000 claim limit towards the cost of parts, labour and VAT for the mechanical breakdown or electrical failure of covered parts on your vehicle.


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