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Volvo XC90, crash test
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THE Volvo XC90 is the safest car on the road according to the latest crash test data from Euro NCAP.

The organisation has just revealed the cars which performed best in each sector of the market in 2015.

Volvo's XC90 was not only the top performing large off-roader it also attained the highest safety score of any vehicle tested in the year.

The Swedish company's new flagship achieved a 97 per cent score for adult occupant protection and a maximum 100 per cent for its safety assist technologies which include an advanced autonomous braking system - an innovation also recognised by the Thatcham road safety organisation in Britain which has also rated the XC90 as the safest car around.

Safety aids fitted to the new XC90 include world-firsts such as run-off road protection, which automatically tightens the seatbelts if the vehicle is detected to have left the road, as well as automatic emergency braking at a junction which will apply the brakes to stop or help prevent an accident if the car is turned inadvertently into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

This is on top of the other standard safety technologies, such as City Safety, which can help to avoid or mitigate collisions with pedestrians, cyclists or other vehicles day or night, driver alert and lane-departure warning systems.

The new Jaguar XE and the Toyota Avensis - both built in Britain - were the best performing large saloons tested in 2015 while the Mercedes-Benz GLC produced the top results for smaller 4x4s.

Euro NCAP said that the Jaguar scored highly for making all its safety systems standard.

The best performing small family car was another British-built model, the Infiniti Q30 which Euro NCAP said performed well in all areas.

The Q30's active bonnet helped it to gain results for pedestrian protection which were amongst the best of 2015.

Other cars which attained top results were the Suzuki Vitara and the Honda Jazz which was named as the safest supermini.

The Volkswagen Touran was the best performing small MPV while the Ford Galaxy and S-MAX took top place in the large MPV category.

In 2015 Euro NCAP paid special attention to roadsters which it said was a category of relatively expensive cars but for which the importance of safety was often downplayed by vehicle manufacturers.

None of the tested roadsters could achieve the top five star rating which was largely down to a lack of new avoidance technology, but with four stars the Mazda MX-5 came out safest.

Last year Euro NCAP tested more than 40 new models and in 2016 will be introducing new criteria to examine the effectiveness of emergency braking systems in all models.

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