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Top 10: Euro NCAP family car results

The European New Car Assessment Programme (or Euro NCAP for short) was launched in 1997 to independently test the safety and crashworthiness of new cars, initially awarding each car a maximum of five stars for adult occupant protection and four for pedestrian safety.

We’ve already taken a look at the results of ’90s superminis, so now’s the turn of that era’s family cars. These are the mid-range saloons and hatchbacks that pounded the motorways throughout the late ’90s and beyond, popular with family car buyers and company sales reps alike. So which ones were the safest according to Euro NCAP? Read on to find out…

By Paul Guinness, Contributor

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Volkswagen Passat MkIV

Launched in 1996, the fourth-generation Passat was one of the newer designs tested by Euro NCAP the following year, so it’s perhaps not surprising that it faired pretty well. Pedestrian protection was no better than average (with two stars out of four), but adult occupancy safety was ahead of most rivals’ at three stars (out of five), with Euro NCAP happy that the Passat already ‘met coming 1998 side-impact legislation for new models’. The testers revealed that the Passat also ‘performed well in the frontal impact’, with the passenger compartment retaining its structural integrity.

See the video here:


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