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Why the Vauxhall-Opel Adam's four-star safety rating is no surprise

Why the Vauxhall-Opel Adam’s four-star safety rating is no surprise Vauxhall Adam side crash test
Tristan Honeywill

With the results of Euro NCAP’s crash test assessment for the Vauxhall-Opel Adam supermini just published, some may be surprised that the car only achieved a four-star safety rating. But the evolution of Euro NCAP’s tests mean four-star ratings are going to become more common. The question is whether it is something that should deter people from buying an Adam?

Looking at the crash test report, nothing unusual was uncovered in the assessment. The passenger compartment remained stable. The dummy readings indicated good protection for the driver and the front passenger. Vauxhall-Opel’s engineers proved that people of different sizes, sat in different positions, all get similar protection.

The scores just weren’t high enough for a five-star rating, however. If you hit a tree side-on, don’t expect the chest protection to be good. If you’re hit from the rear, the whiplash protection is only marginal. The child protection is average, not excellent.

Partly it’s the car, the Adam is based on the same platform as the 2006 Corsa. That’s quite old for a brand new vehicle and Opel’s safety engineers probably expected to do no better than four stars.

The rating is also partly due to the evolution in Euro NCAP’s requirements. To make sure that safety keeps improving for everybody, every year Euro NCAP makes it a little more difficult to get five stars. Because of this, a four star rating today is as good, if not better, than a five star car of a few years ago.

If you like the way the Adam looks and the million ways that you can personalise it, go ahead. The stylish supermini offers safety that is as good and perhaps better than its key competitors: the Fiat 500 and the BMW Mini.

If you want a supermini that also offers you the latest crash prevention technologies, the Adam doesn’t do that. Perhaps that’s why the Ford Fiesta is so popular. It received a five-star rating last year and has some more advanced safety technologies as options.

Not long ago, every new model got five stars. Now for the first time in ages, Euro NCAP’s increasing requirements are starting to show there are differences in the safety offered by new cars on the market. In the coming years, we’ll see more new cars getting four-star ratings. It will be interesting to see how many buyers are willing to accept them.




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