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Why EuroNCAP star rating system feels like click-bait headline

5-star safety rating. A dream rating for any car manufacturer because a quick glance at the rating gives the impression that it is a safe car.

For years EuroNCAP star rating system has helped vehicle buyers inform which cars are safe in the event of a tragic accident. However, the star rating system has caused confusion for the past few years.

If a manufacturer wants to achieve a five-star EuroNCAP rating, it must equip the vehicle with a large amount of safety and driver-assistance technology. If a car is to receive a 5-star rating, it must have an autonomous emergency braking system that recognizes cars, cyclists, and pedestrians. It should also have lane-keeping assistance. Without these technologies, even the best crash test results will not allow a 5-star rating.

A good example would be the crash test results for the DS4 hatchback. A standard car received a 4-star rating, while a vehicle equipped with the Safety Pack got a 5-star rating. Why? Because a car with a safety package includes more driving aids. How fair is that?

Crash Testing DS4

Gives rating without testing in real life

Crashing a vehicle for safety purposes is very expensive. However, this should not be a reason to use quite shady methods.

A perfect case of this behavior is Dacia Jogger’s safety testing results. EuroNCAP experts gave a shameful one-star safety rating without testing this vehicle in a laboratory. Instead, they decided that the Dacia Sandero Stepway was closely related enough that its scores could stand in place of a dedicated Jogger crash test.

The most surprising thing is that models with the same equipment received different ratings. A Dacia Sander Stepway received two stars, while a Dacia Jogger received just one.

I think it’s important to point out that this kind of behavior is fairly common. Seat Arona and Skoda Kamiq follow the same rules. Because they are technically similar, these SUVs inherited scores from the Seat Ibiza and Skoda Scala.

It is necessary to keep technology and star ratings separate

It is difficult to halt the growth of technology in automobiles. The decision by EuroNCAP to test the new technologies more thoroughly is commendable, but safety and technology testing and evaluation should be done separately.

The star rating must show how safe the car is in an accident. Meanwhile, a separate assessment must be dedicated exclusively to technology and how good it is in various situations.

This way, practical, versatile, and affordable cars like the Dacia Jogger won’t be unduly underestimated. Dacia Jogger performs admirably in the event of a collision. Adult occupant safety is rated at 70%, child occupant safety is rated at 69 percent, and vulnerable road users are rated at 41%. With these ratings, Dacia Jogger could easily receive a 3-star rating.

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