EIGHT new cars - all fitted with automatic emergency braking systems - have achieved five star safety ratings in the latest round of the Euro NCAP tests.
The DS 7 Crossback, Jaguar E-Pace, BMW X3, Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Subaru XV, Subaru Impreza and the Honda Civic all attained the highest safety scores.
The increase in the use of AEB as a standard feature has been welcomed by safety experts at Thatcham Research - the British-based organisation which advises the auto industry.
"This is a strong showing for the vehicle manufacturers who submitted cars for testing," said Matthew Avery, head of research at Thatcham Research. "It is encouraging that drivers of all eight cars will be supported by standard-fit AEB - a technology which is proven to reduce accidents.
"As two cars aimed at thefamily market, the Honda Civic and the Subaru Impreza's suite of safety technologies are especially welcome."
Both the Civic and the Impreza come with standard-fit lane keeping aids, which will gently steer a drifting vehicle away from lane markings. The Impreza also comes with AEB which detects pedestrians.
Mr Avery added: "Subaru is often an unsung safety hero, despite a very strong safety record achieved over the years."
The Honda Civic was reassessed following a Euro NCAP 4 star rating in its initial test, due to a curtain airbag deployment issue. The issue was corrected by Honda, earning the British-built Civic its Euro NCAP 5 star rating.
Another vehicle with class-leading results was the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, the last pick-up to achieve a Euro NCAP 5 star rating for its standard fit equipment was the Ford Ranger in 2012. The Safety Assist score of 77 per cent achieved by the X-Class is the highest ever in the pick-up category, as is its child occupant score of 87 per cent.
Thatcham Research is a founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR) and has been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.