The Volvo V40 has been awarded five stars in the Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) collision test, receiving the best ever numbers given by the rating system.
"A fantastic result," Thomas Broberg, Volvo's senior technical safety advisor, said in a statement. "We are very proud to have one of the world's safest cars and we're taking yet another important step toward our 2020 target - that nobody should die or be seriously injured in a Volvo."
Euro NCAP tests cars according to four different categories: adult occupant protection, child protection, pedestrian protection, and safety assist. It then gives each car an overall grade.
Cars need a score of 60 percent or better to get five stars. The V40's adult occupant protection score was a record 98 percent. Volvo attributes the five-door model's score to its "holistic" design, a strong structure, and safety features such as its whiplash protection system.
The V40 also scored high in the safety assist category. "The new Volvo V40 was launched as the most intelligent and the safest car in its segment, and it is truly packed with active safety systems such as auto brake, Pedestrian Detection to shield pedestrians, Lane Keeping Aid which helps the driver stay within his or her lane, and BLIS which helps the driver detect vehicles in the offset rear 'blind spot'," Broberg said.
The V40's score in the pedestrian protection category also set a record. This is thanks in no small part to its hood airbag. If the car makes contact with a pedestrian, sensors in the front cause a pyrotechnical charge that inflates an airbag under the hood. The system's aim is to help protect the pedestrian's head by cushioning the impact and distancing them from the hard engine components. Euro NCAP observed that "the system worked well, the bonnet [hood] offering good protection in all areas likely to be struck by a pedestrian's head, making the V40 the first car to score maximum points in this area."
Volvo had earlier won the Euro NCAP Advanced Award for its City Safety system, which is standard in the V40.
"We work continuously on improving the already high safety level of our cars through ongoing research into the reasons behind road accidents and by gaining in-depth understanding of the results of actual collisions," Broberg said.
The news of the V40's high score may increase the clamor among some American enthusiasts for Volvo to offer the model for sale in North America.