Britain's Top 10 safest new cars named by crash experts: The Audi A6 and the Audi Q3

If safety is high on the agenda when you’re looking to purchase a new car, the Audi A6 or the Audi Q3 could be perfect for you.

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Compiled by crash-test experts Thatcham Research, the Audi A6 and the Audi Q3 have been named within the top 10 safest new cars in Britain. Not only do they offer a high level of protection in a crash, they also have the latest technology that could mean avoiding a collision altogether.

Thatcham Research said the cars to make the top 10 list in 2019 have to offer more than a five-star Euro NCAP rating - the European standard for vehicle safety.

Its team of expert UK judges said the 10 nominees for the overall award - the What Car? Safety Award - need to excel in prevention of crashes, too.

The performance of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems is reviewed and models fitted with adaptive cruise control, speed recognition and control and steering support - all of which are first steps towards vehicle automation

The cars featured have to be mainstream models with a proven record of relatively high registrations to ensure there's a real impact on improving road safety in the UK.

Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham said: 'It's clear that occupants of the latest cars are at a lower risk than ever.But not resting on our laurels, we raised the bar in safety testing for 2018. This means the ten cars in this list are some of the safest ever made, anywhere in the world.'

Other cars that made the list were Lexus ES, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The overall winner will be announced at the end of January.

The Audi A6

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Rating: 5 Stars
Adult Occupant: 93%
Child Occupant: 85%
Vulnerable Road Users: 81%
Safety Assist: 76%

The new Audi A6 gets top grades when it comes to passive safety — in the Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme), one of the most important safety tests in Europe, it earned the highest rating of five stars. This makes the business sedan one of the safest cars in its class.

The new Audi A6 achieved the top rating in the Euro NCAP, scoring on all relevant criteria: protection of adult passengers, child safety, pedestrian safety, and driver assistance systems. The actively supporting safety systems — which include automatic emergency braking systems for city traffic and for highways—are included in the overall NCAP assessment with a weighting of 20%. A large number of assist systems make driving even safer, more convenient and more relaxing. The standard Audi pre sense front system helps avoid collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Another highlight is the adaptive cruise assist, which enhances the adaptive cruise control with a lane guidance function over the entire speed range and with the traffic jam assist. An ideal upgrade for it is the efficiency assist. This brakes and accelerates the vehicle predictively by analyzing Car-to-X information, sensor information and navigation data as well as traffic signs.

The new Audi A6 is also top when it comes to passenger protection. Its body consists of an intelligent mix of aluminium and steel, with hot-stamped steel components forming the ultra-high-strength backbone in the passenger compartment. With its high rigidity, the body lays the foundations for the vehicle’s high crash safety, sporty and precise handling and acoustic comfort on board.​​

The Audi Q3

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Rating: 5 Stars
Adult Occupant: 95%
Child Occupant: 86%
Vulnerable Road Users: 76%
Safety Assist: 85%

Not only did the Audi Q3 have a five-star NCAP rating, it also achieved the second highest overall Euro NCAP score of last year. What makes it stand out from the competition is the crash avoidance technology Audi has made available with the compact SUV. Overall, Euro NCAP gave it an 85 per cent score for collision avoidance - the highest of the year in this sector.

To get the highest rating of five stars, a car has to score in all key Euro NCAP criteria. The new Audi Q3 succeeded in doing so with flying colours – in the category adult occupant protection as well as for child safety, vulnerable road user protection and driver assistance systems. The actively supporting safety systems – which include automatic emergency braking for city traffic and for highways – are included in the overall NCAP assessment with a 40% weighting for adult occupant, 20% weighting for vulnerable road users and 20% weighting for safety assist. The Audi Q3 has these technologies on board. The safety systems Audi pre sense basic and Audi pre sense front are standard equipment.

The latter provides the driver with a visual, audible and haptic warning when critical situation involving pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles are detected via radar. It even initiates emergency braking if necessary.​ Also included as standard equipment is Audi side assist, which warns of hazards when changing lanes Audi active lane assist is also standard. This system helps to prevent the vehicle from leaving its lane unintentionally. The optional assistance package bundles the adaptive cruise assist, camera-based traffic sign recognition, parking system plus, high-beam assist and emergency assist.

Like the A6, The new Audi Q3 is also top when it comes to passenger protection. Components made of hot-shaped steel form the backbone of the passenger cell. They are used primarily at the transition from the longitudinal members to the bulkhead, in the centre tunnel, the sills, the A- and B-pillars, the roof frame and the rear longitudinal members. The hot-shaped components, which combine low weight with extreme strength, comprise 26% of the body by weight. Their combination lays the foundation for high crash safety and rigidity.

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