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They may be the safest, but would you buy one?

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There are plenty of considerations that you may have when it comes to buying a new car – does it have good fuel efficiency? Does it have low carbon emissions? Will it impress? One of the major considerations, and for many the most important, is whether or not the car is going to keep you and your loved ones safe in the event of an accident.

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With over 195,000 casualties (of all severities) from road traffic accidents in the UK in 2012 safety is of a high concern for many people.Luckily car manufacturers are constantly upgrading the safety features in their cars, and with EU safety regulations getting stricter, almost all cars on the road are categorically safer than 10 or 20 years ago. However, as they get safer, they are also getting faster – and the problem is that with higher speeds, come most severe crashes and collisions. Euro NCAP, who run the safety testing on all cars sold in the EU, have released the results of 2013’s testing, revealing the safest cars now on the market. Organised by the category the cars are in, the list has a car to suit buyers from every walk of life – read on to find out the safest cars of 2013.

Supermini

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Renault ZOE (LHD)

Adult Occupant – 89%

Child Occupant – 80%

Pedestrian – 66%

Safety Assist – 85%

The Renault ZOE, one of Renault’s flagship electric cars is a more than viable contender to the increasingly popular Nissan Leaf. Proving that electric is the future (at least in terms of safety it would seem) the Renault ZOE outperformed all other superminis to become the best in class for Euro NCAP tests in 2013. With a purchase price to match the diesel Renault Clio, it’s actually priced very reasonably (considering that most electric cars are currently priced above traditionally fuelled vehicles.) However, Renault charges a £70 per month battery rental, adding a significant amount to the day to day running costs. To compare some more supermini’s, check out our Battle of the Supermini’s blog post.

Large Family Car

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Lexus IS 300h (2.5 Hybrid Drive, ‘Executive Plus’ RHD)

Adult Occupant – 91%

Child Occupant – 85%

Pedestrian – 80%

Safety Assist – 66%

This Lexus is a hybrid, meaning it uses both petrol and electric power units in tandem. Just like the Renault ZOE, it’s reached top in its class for safety, the large family cars. Add to this the fact the Lexus are consistently considered to be one of the best manufacturers in terms of customer service and aftercare, and you’re onto a winner.

It’s a little pricier than some of its competitors (particularly the traditional combustion engined models) but comes with plenty of extra features and, according to an number of reviews, well worth the extra spend. Nevertheless, it doesn’t change the fact that this car will almost certainly put a bit of a dent in your bank balance, unless you opt for a clever car finance policy such as PCP.

Small MPV

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Kia Carens (1.7 Diesel EX, LHD)

Adult Occupant – 94%

Child Occupant – 76%

Pedestrian – 64%

Safety Assist – 81%

The Kia Carens shares the number one spot in the small MPV category with the Ford Tourneo Connect. Both are worthy of the title, providing safety where it matters most – in a car designed around a large family – the most important people in your life. The Kia Carens actually falls below the Ford Tourneo Connect in terms of safety for a child occupant – but has an 11% margin on the Tourneo in terms of Safety Assist.

The Kia Carens has lots more to offer in addition to its safety features, boasting a far more desirable design than the Tourneo and with good reviews across the board, meeting expectations and even exceeding them in many areas. This car simply must be on your MPV shortlist.

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Ford Tourneo Connect (1.6 ‘Trend’ LHD)

Adult Occupant – 94%

Child Occupant – 85%

Pedestrian – 62%

Safety Assist – 70%

The Ford Tourneo Connect makes up for the fact that it is a bit of an ugly duckling by being one of the safest MPVs on the market (shared with the Kia Carens, as mentioned above.) Occupant safety is brilliant, at 94% for adults and 85% for children, higher overall than the Kia Carens. It can be bought in the Zetec trim, and scores highly in terms of practicality – probably because it’s absolutely huge inside. Based on the infamous Ford Transit Van, this car is perfect for large families, available in both 5 and 7 seat versions.

Small Family Car

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Qoros 3 Sedan (1.6T, ‘Elegance’ LHD)

Adult Occupant – 95%

Child Occupant – 87%

Pedestrian – 77%

Safety Assist – 81%

The safest overall car of 2013 was the Qoros 3 Sedan. You could be forgiven for not recognising the car – it comes from Chinese manufacturer Qoros, and though it has now been released for sale in Europe, Qoros are not producing any right hand drive versions for the UK market. Though the number of people willing to import a Qoros to the UK is probably quite low, if the car is popular in Europe it’s safe to assume that Qoros would be willing to join their compatriots Ssangyong and Great Wall and attempt to woo the British market. Certainly, if safety remains a priority, there will be plenty of customers willing to give the car a go.

Small Off-Road 4×4

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Jeep Cherokee (2.0l Diesel ‘Longitude’ LHD)

Adult Occupant – 92%

Child Occupant – 79%

Pedestrian – 67%

Safety Assist – 74%

4x4’s are fast becoming one of the most competitive categories of car, and the range of choice is huge, especially with the increasingly popular ‘Crossover’ seizing a chunk of the market. In terms of safety, the Jeep Cherokee takes the crown for the small 4x4’s. Being one of the bigger cars on the road has its advantages, but it can also mean that the car is more prone to rolling or blind spots. Luckily, Jeep has taken this into consideration, providing lots of optional extras such as a rearview camera and parking sensors, blind-spot mirrors and a collision warning system. To compare more 4×4’s, check out our dedicated Battle of the 4×4’s blog post.

Executive

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Maserati Ghibli ( Diesel, 3.0 TDS, LHD)

Adult Occupant – 95%

Child Occupant – 79%

Pedestrian – 74%

Safety Assist – 81%

If you require something a bit more upmarket for work, or simply want a higher level of refinement from your car, than the Maserati Ghibli scores highest in the executive category. This is a car which stands out from the crowd, and has attracted a huge amount of attention, especially from business buyers looking for a very high standard fleet. The fact that the Ghibli ranks so highly in its category is nothing but a credit to an already admirable car. For business customers who expect to do lots of miles, safety is, of course, a key consideration, and Maserati have done well to impress.

So there you have it – the safest cars of 2013. Whether you’re a business executive doing lots of miles regularly, a family looking for a big school run MPV or a first time driver after something small but safe, there is a car out there for you. But here is the important part – would you buy one? Let us know in the comments below.

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