When it comes to choosing between which family hatchback to buy, drivers have a lot of information at their fingertips. Car makers provide plenty of details on peak power, boot size and fancy infotainment features.
But checking which is the safest hatchback available takes a little more detective work.
Euro NCAP is the independent organisation that puts cars through crash tests and examines which is the safest. The results are then published for all drivers to see. Its website allows users to search cars by make and model, or by type.
So, having checked through their 2015 results, which are the safest family hatchbacks drivers can buy?
The safest small family hatchbacks
Cue drum roll… and step forward please, Honda Jazz.
The Jazz is unquestionably the safest small hatchback (otherwise known as a supermini) that Euro NCAP has subjected to its rigorous crash tests.
It scored a maximum five star rating overall and 93% for the adult protection test, which is the highest rating achieved by a small hatchback (using current testing procedures). When it came to the child protection rating, the Jazz also topped the lot.
It returned a score of 85% for children in Isofix child seats in the back of the car. It’s an impressive score for the Jazz, a car that is often labelled ‘boring’ by critics but delivers both outstanding safety and excellent reliability.
In second place came the Mazda 2, a supermini that’s as fun to drive as it is affordable to buy and run. It was handed a four star rating, with adult and child protection scores of 85% and 78% respectively.
Nipping at its back bumper was the latest Hyundai i20, a car that underwent a total image transformation last year. Proving that it’s as much about substance as it is about style, the i20 achieved an overall score of four stars, and was awarded 85% and 73% for adult and child protection.
The safest large family hatchbacks
Infiniti is owned by Nissan and was launched to give the car maker a posh badge and classy cars to rival Audi and BMW. The Q30 is the equivalent to an Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and VW Golf. But just to confuse matters, it’s actually based on the Mercedes A-Class.
It’s an impressive feat for Infiniti to pull ahead of the competition when it comes to safety, and one that might help get more drivers to take notice of the brand. The Q30 scored five stars overall, and was awarded 84% for the adult protection test and 86% for the child safety measurement. But it was actually the Q30’s ability to inflict minimal injuries to pedestrians that helped it beat the competition to first place, with a score of 91%.
Vauxhall’s Astra also puts in a solid performance when faced with the crash tests. The family hatchback was awarded a five star overall score, and notched up protection ratings of 86% for adults and 84% for children.
Securing third place was the new Renault Megane. In the early days of Euro NCAP crash testing, Renault was one of the first car makers to embrace the process, engineering its cars to perform well in the tests and extensively use the results to help sell cars to consumers. Little has changed. The latest Megane was given a five star overall rating and recorded 88% and 87% for the adult and child protection tests.