Safety rating detail?


MB Master
Jun 22, 2003
Perth, Scotland
W204 C200CDI Estate
As some users of this forum know I an quite interested in the safety aspects of car design and after looking at the swedish FOLKSAM site and the EuroNCAP site recently I was struck by one niggling detail. The frontal collision data appears to be derived from only one model of the specific car in question. For example the excellent ratings of the new Mercedes E class are derived from an analysis of the E220 CDi elegance LHD model.:confused: Now this is probably the most compact engine/gearbox unit in the model range. So my question is how would a v6 or v8 engined RHD model fare in the same test. Just asking you understand and I'm not singling out Merc cos all the manufacturers do it. Perhaps it would be more useful to retest the most popular engined model and rhd/lhd rather than the one which gives the best results? Maybe the E220CDi is the most popular-- thinking of all those German Taxis?:eek:


MB Enthusiast
Nov 24, 2003
S211 E320Cdi Avantgarde Estate & Toyota Land Cruiser
Good question.

This is what the AA have to say about EuroNCAP tests:

"Comparing Different Models

Each car is tested in one form only. Different models may perform slightly differently, and Euro NCAP has no way of knowing if cars with different engines or hand of drive would give appreciably different results. The manufacturer should ensure that other variants perform at least as well as the car tested."

Suppose the gearboxes are near constant in size so the engine would be the main difference.


Active Member
Nov 13, 2003
Personally I do not entirely like the NCAP approach to car safety. Consumers are encouraged to believe a 5-star rating is the best they can get. However, car test results are divided into many different classes. A 5-star rating for a supermini and a full-size saloon are not the same.

I would much prefer to be driving a 3-star saloon than a 5-star supermini, even if my 3-star car was hit at speed by the 5-star supermini!

Many forum users have made a decision between an older but better engineered car, and a newer car of lesser pedigree, with this safety consideration in mind. It is one way of ensuring safety on a fixed annual motoring budget.

My preferred safety rating comes from the “death by car type” ratings published in the USA and elsewhere. This comes out unequivocally in favour of larger but less exciting cars, e.g. the E-class. Unlike the NCAP statistics, the “death by car type” ratings are based on real-life accidents with a range of models and engines. And incidentally, they have no bias towards small environmentally friendly eco-cars!

Here is an introduction to the “death by car type” ratings:

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