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The safest new family cars

Check out our list of the safest new family cars. Ranging from a small hatchback to a 7-seat MPV, we’ve thought of them all.

Whether you're buying a car for a small or large family, there are many safe choices.

Whether you're buying a car for a small or large family, there are many safe choices.

Safety is a high priority when looking for the ideal car for your family. After all, your cargo is precious. Whatever size of car you’re in the market for, we’ve whittled down a list of small, medium and large cars that have a five-star Euro NCAP rating. The Euro NCAP rating is an indicator of a car’s safety. Take a look at Euro NCAP car safety ratings explained if you’d like to know more.

Small family car

Renault Clio

The fourth-generation supermini is ideal for smaller families. The boot space is more than ample at 300 litres and the five doors allow easy access to car seats in the back. The upfront visibility is good thanks to the large windscreen and high-mounted seats. There are six airbags, anti-whiplash headrests and seat belt reminders for the front and back. You also get the option of three ISOFIX points (one in the front and two in the rear) and electronic stability control comes as standard.

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars

Adult occupant protection score: 88%

Child occupant protection score: 89%

Pedestrian protection score: 66%

Hyundai Ioniq

Available with several drivetrains, the Ioniq is certainly flexible if you’re looking for something that will also lower your emissions. With hybrid (petrol/electric), plug-in hybrid and electric versions, there is plenty of choice. In terms of space for the family this one is certainly suitable for smaller families; the five doors make access to the back easier and the boot space is generous at 341 litres. Front visibility is good thanks to the wide windscreen, there are seven airbags and safety features such as autonomous braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and blind spot detection as standard.

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars

Adult occupant protection score: 91%

Child occupant protection score: 80%

Pedestrian protection score: 70%

Toyota Prius

The fourth-generation model has had improvements along the way and, like the Ioniq, is ideal for a small family who is environmentally conscious, with the same three drivetrains available. If you’re looking for litres of boot space, the plug-in has the least amount of room and two rear seats, so might be best avoided if you need more room. There are seven airbags as well as Toyota’s safety sense system, comprising radar-governed adaptive cruise control (which maintains a safe distance to the car in front and can stop the car if necessary), pre-collision brake assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beam and road sign assist.

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars

Adult occupant protection score: 92%

Child occupant protection score: 82%

Pedestrian protection score: 77%

Ford B-Max

The rear sliding doors of the B-Max are a good selling point for families, as is the child observation mirror and boot space at a reasonable 318 litres. The higher driving position makes it easy to see the road, therefore improving visibility. Ford has strengthened the body of the car to make up for the lack of central pillars due to the rear doors. On the road, Optional Active City Stop automatically brakes the car if a low speed collision is detected. As standard, there are six airbags, electronic stability control, emergency braking assistance and hill start assistance (with the exception of the 1.4-litre petrol) and the two outer rear seats have ISOFIX fittings.

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars

Adult occupant protection score: 92%

Child occupant protection score: 84%

Pedestrian protection score: 67%

Medium sized family car

Renault Scenic

Another model in its fourth generation, the Scenic has been updated and the space and storage improved. It’s certainly been built with safety in mind with extensive safety kit, a reinforced steel structure with numerous crumple zones and ‘ultra-high elastic’ structure points that can withstand huge amounts of pressure. There are seven airbags and the safety system includes Active Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, as well as fatigue detection for those early mornings and long drives.

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars

Adult occupant protection score: 90%

Child occupant protection score: 82%

Pedestrian protection score: 67%

ŠKODA Superb

The ŠKODA Superb was awarded the family car of the year for 2017 by Auto Express. The interior is spacious and intelligently designed, with several useful storage spaces. Its impressive safety features mean that the model has been awarded the full five stars by Euro NCAP – you can depend on adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, park assist, blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist and rear traffic alert. It also comes with a smart crew safety system, which closes windows and tightens seatbelts if it predicts an imminent incident.

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars

Adult occupant protection score: 86%

Child occupant protection score: 86%

Pedestrian protection score: 71%

MINI Countryman

When you mention the MINI brand, it may not conjure up images of a family car. However, the Countryman will change that perception, with plenty of space and practical features for growing families. Not to mention the safety benefits, with eight airbags, dynamic stability control, electronic brake force distribution, ABS, tyre pressure warning, collision warning, autonomous braking at city speeds and ISOFIX fittings as standard. That’s an impressive list of features in anyone’s book. In addition, the Driving Assistant Pack can be included (at £810) which adds adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection.

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars

Adult occupant protection score: 90%

Child occupant protection score: 80%

Pedestrian protection score: 64%

Kia Optima

The Kia Optima shares its platform with the Hyundai i40 and is in its second generation. The interior is spacious with plenty of head and legroom in the front and the back. The saloon doesn’t disappoint when it comes to active safety features such as lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, six airbags, stability control, ISOFIX and ABS, with brakeforce distribution, blind spot detection, and a 360-degree parking camera.

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars

Adult occupant protection score: 89%

Child occupant protection score: 86%

Pedestrian protection score: 67%

Large family car – SUV, large MPV

Volkswagen Touran

As it’s a seven-seat MPV, the Touran is certainly spacious. It’s built to be sturdy, so you definitely feel safe. There are nine airbags and all five rear seats have ISOFIX fittings. Advanced safety systems include automatic post-collision braking, traffic alerts and a pre-crash proactive occupant protection system that closes windows and provides tension on the seatbelts if it detects imminent impact. Also included is adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, and trailer assist.

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars

Adult occupant protection score: 88%

Child occupant protection score: 89%

Pedestrian protection score: 71%

Ford Galaxy

The sturdy build of the spacious seven-seat Galaxy is evident. Stability control, seven airbags, ISOFIX, active lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control are available as optional extras. Another neat feature is automatic braking that detects pedestrians and other vehicles, adaptive LED headlights that adjust to prevent dazzling oncoming traffic and an intelligent speed monitor that scans traffic signs to make sure you don’t break the speed limit.

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars

Adult occupant protection score: 87%

Child occupant protection score: 87%

Pedestrian protection score: 79%

SEAT Alhambra

Certainly spacious, the Alhambra provides enough room for seven adults. The seating is flexibly adjustable and the sliding doors make it easy to get in and out of. There are two diesel engines and a petrol available and four trim levels. Safety features include; electric stability control and a full suite of airbags including driver’s knee airbags. There is ISOFIX mounting in all three of the second-row seats, front and rear parking sensors, tiredness recognition system, blind spot monitoring and lane keep assistance.

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars

Adult occupant protection score: 96%

Child occupant protection score: 80%

Pedestrian protection score: 46%

Volvo XC90

It just wouldn’t be right to create a list of safe family cars and not include a Volvo, renowned for their advancement in automotive safety. The XC90 doesn’t disappoint. It was named Auto Express Car of the Year in 2015 and Large SUV of the Year in 2016 for its looks, spacious interior, comfort and refinement. There is plenty of space, with 7 full seats and a roomy boot, too. There are three engine options, a diesel, a petrol and a petrol-electric hybrid.

The safety kit available with the XC90 is expansive, including stability control systems, seven airbags spread across all three rows of seats, lane-keeping and steering assist and adaptive cruise control. The run off-road system detects if you veer off the road, therefore preparing the car for a crash. The materials used to build the car are also considered in terms of safety, the passenger compartments are constructed from the strongest steel used in the automotive industry and boron and energy absorbent seating reduces the impact of a crash. Optional extras such as blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and queue assist function are also available.

Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars

Adult occupant protection score: 97%

Child occupant protection score: 87%

Pedestrian protection score: 72%

About the Author

Nicole Ferguson

Staff writer at Arnold Clark

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