Matthew Avery, chief research strategy officer, Thatcham Research
Expert judges favoured affordable vehicles that will bring the biggest safety benefits to the greatest number of drivers. Of particular importance were robust 'active' crash-avoidance systems and 'passive' safety features, well-delivered driver interface technology, and a commitment to standard fitment across the range.
The vehicles on the safety shortlist include the Mercedes-EQ, the Nissan Qashqai, the Škoda Enyaq, the Toyota Yaris Cross, and the Polestar 2.
Matthew Avery, said: "It is fantastic to see carmakers continuing to prioritise safety, with all but four vehicles tested by Euro NCAP in 2021 achieving a four or five-star rating. Most are rising to the safety challenge and it's encouraging to note EVs are performing very well.
"As well as the development of active safety technology to help avoid crashes and protect vulnerable road users, we also welcome the continued introduction of passive safety innovations such as centre-airbags, which prevent occupants from colliding into one another during side impacts."
Selections will now form the shortlist for the 2022 What Car? Safety Award, sponsored by Thatcham Research. The overall winner and two runners up will be revealed on 20 January.