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Jamie Gibbs

The 5 safest large family cars you can buy


Cars have now become jam-packed with features that assist the driver and keep passengers safe. Finding the safest car for your family doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task.

Ford Mondeo back

Every year Euro NCAP examines most cars driven on Europe’s roads. The experts run extensive crash tests, review safety features, and test both passengers’ and pedestrians’ safety. At the end, each car is given a star-rating from one to five.

The higher the rating, the safer the car. If you’re looking for your next family motor, and safety is paramount, it’s worth taking a look at our list.

Toyota Avensis

Toyota Avensis

The Japanese car maker is known for its reliability and the Avensis isn’t an exception. What’s more, it’s one of the safest cars you can own. The Avensis was given a five-star rating after this year’s safety tests.

The car itself is seen as a big improvement on its predecessors. It’s a roomy and comfortable motor which did really well across all safety assessments.

The car provides adequate protection against whiplash to all passengers. What’s more, during the severe side collision tests, the car provided good protection against serious injuries. Plenty of safety kit comes as standard with Every Avensis.

The car sports seven airbags (including knee airbags), autonomous emergency braking, ISOFIX (for child seats), hill-start assist control and a pre-crash safety system. If you go for the business edition, you’ll get the lane departure system, road sign assist, front and rear parking sensors, and a rear-view camera.

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Skoda Superb

Skoda Superb

Skoda’s estate is an executive car that offers premium features and style at a price that’s unlikely to break the bank. It’s also the second car in our list to be awarded five stars this year.

Protection is very good when it comes to small children and passengers. Euro NCAP tests showed that the level of safety is more than adequate for people of different sizes, even when those are sat in different positions.

Many of the Superb’s safety features come as standard, including lane assist and blind-spot detection. Certain models also come with traffic jam assist (which helps the car stay in lane and avoid collision by braking or accelerating automatically), electronic stability control, and crew protection assist (the car analyses a situation and if a collision is imminent, the sunroof shuts and the front seatbelts retract).

Ford Mondeo

Ford Mondeo

The Mondeo remains one of the most popular family cars in the UK. The model was last tested in 2014 and it scored five stars, doing well across all four categories. Safety is consistent across all sides of the vehicle and protection for passengers is very good.

The cabin of the car remained stable even during the severe frontal impact crash test. Even though each year Euro NCAP ramps up their tests making them more stringent, Ford continues to innovate.

If the car was to be tested again in 2015, it would surely still get the maximum star-rating. The latest Mondeo comes with rear inflatable seatbelts. Upon collision, the seatbelts inflate themselves and turn into airbags.

Other safety features include lane assist, rear mirrors with blind spot assist, active park assist, rear view camera, adaptive cruise control and autonomous braking.

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Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

It’s easy to see why the C-Class received the maximum star-rating in 2014. It packs many features which help anticipate and prevent accidents while on the road.

The car also has a very sturdy cabin, made of high-strength steel, which offers high levels of protection to passengers both at the front and at the rear.

Outside, the stylish Mercedes-Benz C-Class has an “active” bonnet which lifts upon collision, limiting the injuries to pedestrians. Standard features include electronic stability control, airbags on every side of the car (these include side curtain and driver knee airbags), and anti-lock brakes.

What’s more, the car also comes with Mercedes’ sophisticated “Intelligent Drive Assists” bundle which includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, active lane keeping assist, active parking assist, pedestrian detection system, and autonomous braking system.

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Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen Passat estate

Last but not least in our list is the German made Volkswagen Passat. It’s one of the safest motors you can drive on British roads today. Euro NCAP gave it a five-star rating in 2014 because it achieved really high scores in the adult and child passenger safety tests.

In addition to this, the frugal Passat is also rich on safety technology. The car comes with some very smart safety features, many of which can be found in the standard trim.

These include adaptive cruise control, “city emergency braking” (activates when the car is driving slower than 18mph and uses laser technology to monitor traffic at the front), traction and stability control.

If you need extra protection, you can add on a rear-view camera, tyre pressure monitoring system, and parking sensors.

The 2015-released Passat features Volkswagen’s Car-Net telematics system which allows for remote vehicle access, geo-fencing (helps set up boundaries which the driver shouldn’t cross), reporting vehicle’s location when stolen, automatic crash notification and roadside assistance.

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