The Renault Zoe electric car received an excellent 5-star rating from the Euro NCAP tests 8 years ago. However, the last test did not bring the car a single star. Changes to the car and methodology have taken their toll.
The world of cars was somewhat shaken by the news of very poor safety test results of small cars from the Renault concern. The electric Dacia Spring took the only star from the Euro NCAP test, and the Renault Zoe did not even reach this. It is the third car in history to take home zero. It’s quite surprising, because in 2013 Zoe took the best rating, a full 5 stars. What is behind such a drastic change?
Crucially, as cars evolve, so does the methodology of the tests. Virtually all cars are safer than cars of many years ago, so by the standards of the time, all cars today would probably take five stars. Therefore, the methodology is changing, but at the same time it complicates comparability. 5 stars from 2013 is different from 5 stars today. After all, in the last 8 years, there have been 5 changes in the methodology. And any such change can bring about the loss of even two stars with the same security.
But this is partly due to Renault itself. The original side airbag also protected the head, but newer models lost it and the current version protects only the chest. If Zoe had the original safety gear, he could reportedly have reached at least one star. Because of this, the Zoe performed very badly in a side impact, but even the front one did not bring very good results under today’s criteria (however, the video shows that even a car with such a poor rating can have a relatively stiff body) and earned only 14% in safety assistants. Interestingly, this year’s average is 75%. Euro NCAP did not like the absence of lane departure warnings or the lack of automatic braking and other ADAS systems. However, the car should receive some of them from March 2022.