The safest new SUVs in the UK

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The stylish new Range Rover Velar has impressed in the latest round of Euro NCAP crash tests, earning a 5-star rating. But how safe is it compared with other SUVs?

With their tough looks, 4x4s and SUVs have long been seen as some of the safest cars on the road. But in reality there are sizeable differences between the best and worst performers.

This is highlighted by the crash tests conducted by the independent safety assessors at Euro NCAP. So, if you’re looking for a new SUV to keep you and your family safe, what should you choose?

Below we count down the 10 SUVs that have received the highest scores since the latest – and toughest – version of the Euro NCAP test was introduced at the start of 2016. Scores are out of 400.

10. Audi Q2

Adults will feel a bit cramped in the back of Audi’s smallest SUV, but children will be fine, and the interior is beautifully finshed. The Q2 is great fun to drive, too, and it just sneaks into this top 10.

  • Adult occupant protection: 93%
  • Child occupant protection: 86%
  • Pedestrian protection: 70%
  • Safety assist: 60%
  • Total Euro NCAP score: 309

9. Audi Q5

We awarded the Q5 a five-star What Car? rating because it does well in just about every area. That includes safety, with Euro NCAP rating it highly for adult, child and predestrian protection.

  • Adult occupant protection: 93%
  • Child occupant protection: 86%
  • Pedestrian protection: 73%
  • Safety assist: 58%
  • Total Euro NCAP score: 310

8. Mazda CX-5

The new CX-5 is based on its predecessor, so is no more practical. However, it has a much classier interior and is one of the most comfortable large SUVs around, soaking up poorly surfaced roads better than the Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq. It also has a higher Euro NCAP score than both these rivals.

  • Adult occupant protection: 95%
  • Child occupant protection: 80%
  • Pedestrian protection: 78%
  • Safety assist: 59%
  • Total Euro NCAP score: 312

7. Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Sitting at the sportier end of the SUV class, the Stelvio combines sharp and precise steering with impressive body control in bends. Unfortunately, you also get a distinctly firm ride and the diesel engines are noisy. On the safety front, adult occupant protection is particularly impressive.

  • Adult occupant protection: 97%
  • Child occupant protection: 84%
  • Pedestrian protection: 71%
  • Safety assist: 60%
  • Total Euro NCAP score: 312

6. Ford Edge

The Edge is a worthy addition to the large SUV class. It’s decent to drive, offers competitive running costs and is very spacious inside. Unfortunately, it’s let down by a cheap-feeling interior and a lack of third-row seats. Most of its Euro NCAP scores are good rather than exceptional, although it was rated very highly for its safety assistance systems.

  • Adult occupant protection: 85%
  • Child occupant protection: 76%
  • Pedestrian protection: 67%
  • Safety assist: 89%
  • Total Euro NCAP score: 317

5. Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover’s new Discovery is one of the best family SUVs you can buy, achieving a five-star What Car? rating as well as a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. It can genuinely seat seven adults and combines a fantastic, elevated driving position with a very comfortable ride, plus it’s as capable off the road as it is on it.

  • Adult occupant protection: 90%
  • Child occupant protection: 80%
  • Pedestrian protection: 75%
  • Safety assist: 73%
  • Total Euro NCAP score: 318

4. Volkswagen Tiguan

The second-generation Tiguan makes a great family car because it has a spacious and verstile interior. True, it’s quite an expensive choice, but it feels classy and is good to drive. It also has one of the highest adult occupant protection scores (96%) of any car tested by Euro NCAP.

  • Adult occupant protection: 96%
  • Child occupant protection: 84%
  • Pedestrian protection: 72%
  • Safety assist: 68%
  • Total Euro NCAP score: 320

3. Kia Niro (with safety pack)

Kia’s Niro offers class-leading CO2 emissions and excellent real-world fuel economy thanks to its hybriddrivetrain. However, it’s not much fun to drive, there are too many hard plastics inside, and it only gets a four-star safety rating in standard form. However, add the optional safety pack and it becomes the third-safest SUV you can buy.

  • Adult occupant protection: 91%
  • Child occupant protection: 80%
  • Pedestrian protection: 70%
  • Safety assist: 81%
  • Total Euro NCAP score: 322

2. Range Rover Velar

This latest addition to the Range Rover line-up is a refined and comfortable SUV that makes the Evoquelook dated, thanks to its sleek, uncluttered lines; even the exterior door handles sit flush with the body, only sliding out when you approach the car carrying the key. There are more practical alternatives, but none can match the Velar for visual drama, and only one SUV betters it for safety.

  • Adult occupant protection: 93%
  • Child occupant protection: 85%
  • Pedestrian protection: 70%
  • Safety assist: 81%
  • Total Euro NCAP score: 322

1. Toyota C-HR

The hybrid version of this funky small SUV makes a lot of sense as a company car, but we prefer the regular 1.2-litre petrol model because it’s much better at soaking up bumps and feels remarkably agile for a car of its type. In terms of safety, the C-HR has a hugely impressive 95% adult occupant protection rating and the highest overall score of any car tested under the latest Euro NCAP rules.

  • Adult occupant protection: 95%
  • Child occupant protection: 77%
  • Pedestrian protection: 76%
  • Safety assist: 78%
  • Total Euro NCAP score: 326

(whatcar.com, https://goo.gl/yn4Zr5)

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