A five-star rating was awarded to a total of 11 cars in the latest Euro NCAP tests, thanks largely to the addition of autonomous emergency braking.
The European road safety body gave maximum marks to Jaguar's XE and XF saloons, Kia's Sportage and Optima, Vauxhall Astra, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Renault's Megane and Talisman, Infiniti Q30 and Lexus RX.
Autonomous emergency braking now comes as standard or as an option on many models. The system uses sensors mounted behind the rear-view mirror to work out if the driver is about to have a crash and applies the brakes automatically.
Elsewhere in the latest crash test assessments, Nissan's NP300 Navara and the new Mini Clubman achieved four stars, while the BMW Z4 scored three. A lack of crash avoidance technologies in these models contributed to their lower scores.
The Lancia Ypsilon, which is no longer sold in the UK, was given just two stars - the only car tested in 2015 to achieve a rating below three stars. It was criticised for a lack of safety systems and adult protection.
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