SAFETY organisation Euro NCAP has released its latest batch of test results giving maximum five star ratings to five of the seven cars tested.
The Land Rover Defender, Audi A3 Sportback, the SEAT Leon, Isuzu D-Max pick-up and Kia Sorento all scored top marks.
The all-electric Honda e was given a four star ranking while the new Hyundai i10 was awarded three stars.
Both the new Audi A3 Sportback and SEAT Leon sit on the same MQB-II platform as last year's Golf VIII but now feature a centre airbag to improve far-side impact protection.
When it comes to safety, the VW group siblings are in no way inferior to the Golf, but it is the Leon that, thanks to more compatible front-end design, has the upper hand with a very creditable 92 per cent for adult occupant protection, said Euro NCAP.
Of the Isuzu D-Max the organisation said its cab was impressively equipped with standard restraints, automatic emergency braking and a new centre airbag.
However, the mobile progressive deformable barrier test showed that the D-Max's weight and front structure make the pick-up aggressive to other vehicles in a collision.
The same was true of the Land Rover Defender which is larger and heavier than previous models.
The new Defender is equipped with modern driver-assistance systems to prevent and mitigate, as far as possible, collisions with other road-users.
Another heavy-weight, the Kia Sorento, is the fourth generation large off-roader that has been tested by Euro NCAP.
It comes with new safety updates, including Kia's first centre airbag and advanced e-Call system, and thanks to these retains its five stars, despite Euro NCAP saying its frontal offset crash test results were ‘underwhelming'.
Honda's new electric supermini, the Honda e, missed out on five stars because it lacks some of the more advanced safety features present in the Honda Jazz while the Hyundai i10 was criticised in the full-width frontal impact test where the driver's pelvis slipped under the lap belt, a phenomenon known as ‘submarining'.
The i10 also offers a more limited AEB functionality than some other small cars said Euro NCAP.