Euro NCAP has just given the Audi A4, Skoda Superb, Citroen Berlingo, Ford Kuga, Hyundai i10, Seat Ibiza and the VW T5 Caravelle four star ratings for child occupancy and safety.
The tests, which began in November 2003, are the industry standard to help buyers decide if their car will protect them in an accident.
In the case of child testing, an 18 month old dummy and a three year old child dummy are strapped in to correctly fitted child seats and are tested for frontal and side impact accidents. Additional points are awarded for clear fitting instructions on the seat, as well as vehicles having the ISOFIX points clearly labelled. The ISOFIX points are the place where the child seat fittings can be screwed directly into the car, rather than using seatbelt or other temporary attachments.
Michiel von Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP said: "Cars in this round of testing have performed well in child occupant protection."
"Children deserve to be as well treated as adults and safety development in this area has not moved on as much as it should have done. Euro NCAP believes that ISOFIX is the only solution that can reduce the level of misuse and offer an optimal level of protection.
Fortunately, we see more and more manufacturers offering this solution as standard on their vehicles. It iFortunately, we see more and more manufacturers offering this solution as standard on their vehicles.
It is up to consumers to make this safer choice."
Currently, roadside checks have shown that three in five child seats were not correctly fitted to ensure full child safety.