The Land Rover Discovery Sport won the inaugural Safety Award at the What Car? Car of the Year 2015 awards ceremony in London last night (7 Jan).
The independent judging panel was headed by Thatcham Research who set stringent criteria for this new Safety Award. Thatcham required vehicles to score five Euro NCAP stars and have autonomous emergency braking (AEB) fitted as standard. Contenders were also assessed against a range of other safety factors including adult occupant protection, safety assist and child occupant protection.
Discovery Sport achieved the best overall Euro NCAP score in 2014 and features standard fit AEB across the range. It also features an external pedestrian airbag, described as “unique in its class”, to offer additional protection to those on the outside of the vehicle.
The runners-up were the Nissan Qashqai and VW Passat.
Matthew Avery, director of safety at Thatcham Research Centre, said: “Over the last 50 years the primary focus of vehicle manufacturers has been in protecting the occupant of the car. The introduction of technology such as seatbelts, air bags and the innovative use of strong materials in body construction have contributed to huge advances in this area.
“Today, the main focus is on crash prevention which is why AEB was so central to our requirements when judging for this new award.
“The synergy between improved safety and the reduced cost to insure is also now being reflected by lower premiums emerging for safer cars, in particular with the standard fitment of AEB, making it an increasingly significant factor for car buyers.’’