While Fiat can at least claim that the Panda is a seven-year-old vehicle and is unable to be redesigned to meet some of the latest standards, it has no such excuse with the new Jeep Wrangler, which is a completely new design and has only just arrived in United Kingdom showrooms.
In child protection, head protection was declared poor in all tests. It scored 45 per cent for adult occupant safety. Under Euro NCAP regulations, the lowest score from all four categories forms the basis of the final mark. "Testing protocols that apply exclusively to urban scenarios may not align with such a vehicle". The Wrangler's one out of five rating is the outcome of lack of modern active and passive safety technologies. Tests on the Santa Fe highlighted an issue where the side curtain airbags of cars equipped with a panoramic roof could be torn during deployment.
While the Wrangler got just 50 per cent for adult occupant protection, the Volvos and Peugeot were awarded 96 per cent, while the Audi Q3 received 95 and the Hyundai Santa Fe 94. Another part of the report talked about how the deformation of the footwell showed the limit of the structure's integrity. In the side barrier test, the Wrangler scored maximum points and offered good protection. It lost points for not having things like automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist - the Wrangler doesn't offer either of those things in Europe, even as an option.
"As the bare minimum, a standard-fit Autonomous Emergency Braking system should be available with the FIAT Panda".
A Fiat spokesperson said: "we take the safety of our customers and other road users extremely seriously".
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Instead of escaping the ice sheet, the short-lived meltwater forms icy bands that stack up layers of densely packed ice over time. Now, even a very small temperature change in the region can cause huge spikes in ice sheet melting, according to the study.
An FCA source has confirmed that the 2019-specification JL Wrangler will be sold locally with AEB when it hits showroom floors in March next year. When the all-new Jeep Wrangler 4×4 was put through the same crash testing regime, it scored a paltry one-star rating.
ANCAP, meanwhile, told WhichCar that it's too early to determine what score the Wrangler will be attributed under the local scheme.
Lone stars might be good in Texas, but not in a crash test.
Mr Goodwin added that the European result is "disappointing".
"I'd encourage FCA to use the opportunity to improve the safety result in time for its Australasian launch", said Mr Goodwin.
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