The safety organisation Euro NCAP has released the test results for the BMW 3 Series, Hyundai i30,Mazda CX-5 and Peugeot 208.

All four achieved a top 5 star score, although there were some differences between them. Euro NCAP said that, "car makers are rising to Euro NCAP's challenging 2012 5 star requirements, especially in the area of pedestrian protection where the thresholds have been significantly increased this year."

Euro NCAP said it was particularly pleased that the BMW 3 Series achieved a commendable 78% in pedestrian protection, a good result for a compact executive car with no active bonnet. However, the Peugeot 208 scored 61% for pedestrian protection, only just clearing the 2012 5 star threshold of 60%. The Mazda CX-5 scored 64% and the Hyundai i30 67%. In both side impact tests - the side barrier and the pole test - the Mazda CX-5 scored maximum points, the only car of the latest release to do so. By contrast, the i30 showed weak protection of the chest in the side pole test, although its score for child occupant protection was the highest in this round of tests.

The Mazda CX-5 together with the BMW 3 Series, offers an Autonomous Emergency Braking System (AEBs). Such systems act independently of the driver to stop the car, or to reduce its speed, if a collision is imminent. Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP says 'If all cars were fitted with AEB systems, many crashes could be mitigated or avoided altogether on European roads.'