The Fiat Ducato has been named as the top rated van in the latest round of Euro NCAP van safety ratings.
Based on an evaluation of crash avoidance systems and their performance, the Ducato was the clear winner achieving a platinum rating.
Euro NCAP drew attention to the poor level safety equipment in commercial vans last year where the Ducato received a Bronze rating. As the workhorse of choice for couriers and small businesses, vans spend a lot of time on the road where, because of their size and mass, they represent a larger hazard to smaller vehicles and vulnerable road users if involved in a collision.
New legislation will force van manufacturers to fit basic avoidance systems, already widely available on passenger cars, in a few years’ time but Euro NCAP’s commercial van ratings aim to encourage manufacturers to fit more advanced systems more quickly.
Euro NCAP revisited 19 of the best-selling vans in Europe with only one van assessed being rated as ‘Not Recommended’. This compares to five vans last year.
The Vauxhall Movano is now built on a new Stellantis platform and gets a bronze medal alongside the Renault Master. This was achieved thanks to small but notable improvements to its speed and lane assistance systems. Its twin, the Nissan Interstar (previously the Nissan NV400), also gets these improvements but lacks an Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system so is in the Not Recommended category.
The Ducato’s upgrade is thanks to a major safety make-over and now features an advanced sensor set, offering AEB pedestrian and AEB cyclist, and excels in these tests.
The Ducato’s 88% overall score sees it leapfrog the competition to become the first platinum-rated van but the other Stellantis vehicles which the Ducato shares its platform with – Peugeot Boxer, Citroën Relay and Vauxhall Movano – are rated lower. They don’t have the same equipment levels and are therefore only ranked as gold.
Euro NCAP tests vans with safety equipment which is standard or optional, so the assessments represent the best that can be expected of each vehicle. In terms of fitment, little has changed in the last twelve months and safety equipment is still offered mainly as an option.
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