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Shortlist for What Car? Safety Award 2024

The shortlist for the What Car? Safety Award 2024 in association with Thatcham Research has been revealed, with five vehicles in contention:

  • Volkswagen ID.7
  • Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV
  • Lexus RZ
  • BYD SEAL
  • BMW 5 Series

The shortlisted cars were selected by the five judges based on Euro NCAP test scores, in addition to other core criteria such as mass-market appeal, Vulnerable Road User (VRU) protection and the performance of the car’s passive and active safety technology.

The Safety Award winner will be announced at the 2024 What Car? Awards ceremony in London, next Thursday, 18th January.

This year, the safety timeline was used as part of the judging process to categorise the different safety technologies found in the shortlisted vehicles.

The timeline outlines the different scenarios when specific safety technology can be in-use. It begins with ‘safe driving’ which uses technology to encourage safer driving.

It then moves to ‘crash avoidance’ which uses advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to prevent a collision from occurring.

If a collision is unavoidable, the timeline then progresses to ‘crash protection’ which aims to protect anyone who is involved in a crash, whether they are an occupant, in another vehicle, or are a VRU.

The final part of the timeline is ‘post-crash safety’ which looks to provide immediate support to people involved in a collision.

The safety timeline was a crucial part of 2024’s judging process, allowing the panel to better compare the performance of the shortlisted cars across each of the four stages.

The review of these safety features also extended to the implementation of ADAS technology and whether the vehicles demonstrated a cooperative performance between drive and vehicle.

Euro NCAP secretary general and What Car? Safety Award judge, Michiel van Ratingen, commented: “Last year, Euro NCAP released 18 car safety ratings, which underwent even more rigorous safety testing than usual due to updates in Euro NCAP requirements for collision avoidance, crash protection and post-crash safety.

“In collision avoidance we included new motorcycle scenarios and a scenario against ‘dooring’ – both of critical importance for vulnerable road users.

“We also included the evaluation of vehicle submergence counter measures in the updated 2023 rating, which with the increase of flooding due to global climate change has become essential.

“We must congratulate the short-listed manufacturers on their response to these updates – they continue to prioritise safety and make the latest solutions available for consumers. The What Car? Awards is an important recognition of their efforts.”