Fiat Ducato top in new Euro NCAP commercial van ratings

Fiat Ducato

Euro NCAP has tested 18 vans under its new, more stringent commercial van safety rating system and announced plans to expand testing to trucks.

The Fiat Ducato, rated Platinum last year, once again tops the list but is dropping to Gold under this year’s tougher protocol.

The Nissan Interstar retains its position and continues to be rated ‘Not Recommended’ based on its lack of crash avoidance systems.

Under Euro NCAP’s plans, by 2026 vans will be expected to have the same ADAS requirements as passenger cars, and the van rating will from then on only consider standard fitment across all European markets.

Results in the commercial van ratings announced today (Wednesday, March 1) include the Ford Transit, which like the Fiat Ducato achieved a Gold rating.

The Mercedes-Benz Vito drops from Gold to a Silver rating, where it joins the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Volkswagen Transporter, the Renault Trafic, Nissan Primastar and Volkswagen Crafter.

Those that achieved a Bronze Rating were the Citroën Jumpy (known as the Dispatch in the UK), the Citroën Jumper (Relay), Iveco Daily, Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro, Opel/Vauxhall Movano, Peugeot Expert, Peugeot Boxer, Renault Master and Toyota Proace

The Commercial Van Safety Rating to improve safety information for fleet managers and provide a safer experience for van drivers and other road users was launched by Euro NCAP in 2021

Euro NCAP’s new criteria for commercial van ratings takes ADAS to a higher level with greater emphasis on vulnerable road users including pedestrian safety, with focus on night-time scenarios, and cyclists as well as the introduction of one new van-to-car crash scenario.

Michiel van Ratingen, secretary-general at Euro NCAP, said: “Safety technologies and innovative solutions are developing at a fast pace.

“Euro NCAP must develop its criteria to ensure that manufacturers maintain the impetus to innovate and make available the latest safety technologies in all vehicles on European roads.

“Just because vans are used for commercial purposes, does not mean they should be any less safe than passenger cars.

“Under Euro NCAP’s plans by 2026, vans will be expected to meet the same ADAS requirements as passenger cars.”

Thatcham Research, which is the UK’s only Euro NCAP accredited testing centre, welcomed the results.

“When one of the millions of vans on UK roads is involved in a collision, impact severity tends to be higher than that of a passenger vehicle, which is why Euro NCAP’s rating is focused on the performance of safety technologies that avoid or mitigate crashes,” said Matthew Avery, chief research strategy officer at Thatcham Research.

“With 13.5% of the whole vehicle fleet comprising of vans, it’s important that van drivers, and those sharing the roads with them, are protected.

“This latest set of results demonstrates that manufacturers are responding positively and it’s of note that the UK’s most popular commercial van, the Ford Transit, secured a ‘Gold’ rating.

“However, the fitment of crash avoidance technology seen on vans has some way to go before gaining parity with the high levels of standard fitment we enjoy on cars today.”

HGV Euro NCAP rating

Later this year, Euro NCAP will launch a new rating scheme for HGVs that aims to keep drivers safe and create a market for safe and clean technology that will allow manufacturers to innovate and advance their safety offering firmly grounded in Euro NCAP principles.

Van Ratingen said: “Over the last year Euro NCAP has been examining safety and possible solutions within the heavy goods vehicle category.

“I believe that this must be Euro NCAP’s next milestone to ensure that countries across Europe achieve their ‘Vision Zero’ target and end traffic-related fatalities.

“This marks the beginning of a new, challenging, and exciting journey for Euro NCAP, its members and those who wish to join us in the future.”

Thatcham Research welcomed the testing of HGVS. Avery said: “This is great news for road safety. HGVs make up a very small percentage of the fleet (1.5%), but their contribution to killed and seriously injured statistics is disproportionately high (15%), with 90% being external to the vehicle.

“Although fitment of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) to HGVs has been mandatory since 2015, the new rating will drive best practice with an urgent focus on HGVs not only matching, but exceeding, the performance levels of AEB on passenger vehicles.

“The rating will also assess and drive fitment of the full suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and will exceed new EU ‘General Safety Regulation 2’ requirements.”

To view the Euro NCAP commercial vehicle ratings, click here.

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