Consumer group Which? has announced that the Audi A8 4.2 Quattro is the safest car that it has tested since it began assessing vehicles in 1983.
The Audi was rated as safer than the Volvo S40, the Lexus LS 430, the Volvo S80 and the Lexus GS 300 â€“ the other models that made up the top five.
In its report, Which? stressed the progress that has been made in the motor industry on safety issues, describing the situation in 1983 as "dire".
Since then, when cars did not have standard rear seatbelts, few head restraints and no airbags, improvements have been made in every area of car design and production to make driving safer.
Neil Fowler, editor of Which?, said: "Spurred on by the lack of attention to car safety in the early 1980s, we started our groundbreaking safety rating system in 1983.
"Modern cars measure up well against their ancestors, but there’s no room for complacency where safety’s concerned."
The group’s assessments were carried out by considering more than 50 critical safety areas and evaluating how well a car would fare if it was involved in an accident.