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At launch, that Panda scored 4 Stars - the highest rating for a city car that year (Official Fiat Panda 2011 safety rating results (at https://www.euroncap.com/en/results/fiat/panda/10970 )). The safety equipment has been improved since then, but what you're seeing is the effect of EuroNCAP completely changing its testing and scoring system since 2011. The car is as safe in a collision today as it was at launch.

I don't think that newer cars in the class are so much safer than Panda as a difference between five and zero stars would suggest, just that those cars were designed with the post-2015 test program in mind. The score is also based on lowest-available specification, and this hurts carmakers like FIAT who sell lower-priced models. Compare the 500 and Panda's scores to see just how much this matters: structurally, Panda and 500 are the same car, but last year, a re-test of the 500 scored 3 stars. The difference was that, in 2016, 500 had a refresh that made some safety equipment standard across the range; something Panda didn't get.

I'm unhappy that driver aids (e.g., autonomous braking), cabin labelling and driver instructions contribute to the headline score on what is at heart, supposed to be a crash-safety test. I'd prefer to see automated systems, or the presence/absence of seatbelt indicators, scored separately to the core crash-safety. All the Lane-Departure-Warnings in the world won't help you if you're struck head-on by a car that veered into your lane, and Autonomous braking does not function at the speed used in the impact tests (nor does it have any bearing on side or pole impacts).
Not only that but safety assists systems are directly related to Adult Safety score. WTF!? :eek:
 

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As usual, the first reaction is to attack the agency (like EuroNCAP, IIHS, JD Power) as if they design the testing/measurements in such a way to purposely hurt FCA and give an advantage to other manufacturers.
 
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The Panda is not ancient yet. Just at the end of a normal 7-year lifecycle. As it seems to live on a few years (incl. MHEV option) will it get a heavy facelift?
 

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The Panda is not ancient yet. Just at the end of a normal 7-year lifecycle. As it seems to live on a few years (incl. MHEV option) will it get a heavy facelift?
They will surely get a active safety systems because they will be mandatory in EU in a few years time.

Panda will get more breathing space because in a next 3 or 4 years a lot of competitors will leave this segment.
 

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As usual, the first reaction is to attack the agency (like EuroNCAP, IIHS, JD Power) as if they design the testing/measurements in such a way to purposely hurt FCA and give an advantage to other manufacturers.
That argument comes up a lot, but I don't see the evidence. Here, I don't see anyone attacking the agency, and nobody has claimed that EuroNCAP has it in for FCA, or that the test was unfair or improperly conducted. I'm sure other car makers have had their models re-tested too.

This thread is about FIAT, so I didn't mention Wrangler's result, but I will now: The Wrangler's 1-star EuroNCAP result is appalling, and stupid for a vehicle that was given the engineering investment to carry a diesel engine specifically to be competitive in the European market. Someone, and more than one person, at FCA needs to answer for how they allowed this product to launch in Europe knowing that it would get this result (and it's very easy to simulate the various test procedures, so I don't know how this was a surprise). EuroNCAP tests several vehicles, and where there's a large divergence or a serious problem, they will approach the manufacturer and let them have a second go... BMW's X5 got a 5-star result despite a knee-bag not firing because BMW supplied evidence that it did fire in other tests. There's no excuse for a new vehicle scoring one star in EuroNCAP. None. All that said, EuroNCAP have some blame too: their agency did not conduct a pole-impact test on the vehicle (it says so in the comments for the Adult impact test), so Wrangler lost points in both passenger impact tests simply because one of the impact tests wasn't performed (it scored full points in the large-profile side-impact test).

The Panda result is not the same. It's not a new car. It has not even been revised recently. This was a random re-test, of the kind EuroNCAP does sometimes. The low score is simply a sign of the rules moving on and the low entry price of the model, as I outlined in my previous post. However, I think that there is something needlessly sensationalist in any scoring system where in only seven years you can go from an 80% score (highest in segment that year) down to a 0% score without the product design changing (except for the addition of some safety options). "Zero star" suggests that the vehicle is not roadworthy. Either the car was safe at launch and remains exactly that safe now, or it was not safe at launch and should not have been awarded a high score at the time.

Here's the breakdown of Panda's scores from its two tests (Adult in impact, Child in impact, Pedestrian, Safety Tech), and the decline isn't as dramatic:
2018: 45% 16% 47% 7% Headline: 0/5
2011: 82% 63% 49% 43% Headline: 4/5

For completeness, here's Wrangler:
2018: 50% 69% 49% 32% Headline: 1/5

The Adult and Child scores come from barrier and pole impact tests which have been significantly up-rated in recent years, hence the fall in score. Pedestrian testing is largely unchanged, as you can see from the scores (a 2% change is not significant given the randomness in the test procedure itself).
Including the Tech score in the overall rating is where I do have a criticism of EuroNCAP's scoring system - this is a mission-creep away from its original goal, which was to get car makers to improve the survivability of impacts.

I'd like two scores: an impact safety score, and a preventative score, which would make things clearer. I know three people who've been in accidents bad enough to require a hospital visit in the last ten years: two were side-impacts from drivers running a red-light , the third had his car flipped when a blown-out front tire caused him to hit a curved barrier at just the wrong angle. No emergency braking system, lane departure warning or seatbelt reminder (seatbelts are compulsory over here) would have helped any of them. There's more than one way of getting a high score, and I'd prefer that manufacturers focussed on impact survivability.
 

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^ Now that is a good idea. Separate impact and preventative scores.
 
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