1 Mar 23

Fiat and Ford score gold in Euro NCAP's new 2023 van ratings

To give fleet managers a more up-to-date picture of the safety of light commercial vans, Euro NCAP has upgraded its rating system. The results of the new testing scheme don’t reshuffle the hierarchy from the latest round but lead to lower overall rankings.

Euro NCAP doesn’t crash vans with dummy occupants, like with cars, but makes an assessment of the availability and efficiency of the ADAS systems or electronic aids for crash prevention. There’s no distinction between optional and standard equipment.

The vans are tested with half of the permissible load. Under the new protocol, the Fiat Ducato (63%, 2022: 88%) keeps its crown as the overall winner but steps down from the Platinum to the Gold category, where it is joined by the Ford Transit (60%, 2022: 63%). Likewise, the Mercedes-Benz Vito (48%, 2022: 61%) swaps Gold for Silver.

Most vans are in the Bronze category, while the Nissan Interstar (18%, 2022: 18%), a previous generation model lacking crash avoidance systems, remains the only candidate with a ‘Not Recommended’ label. The full list can be found here.

More severe accidents

Euro NCAP points out that light commercial vans don’t have a higher crash rate than passenger cars. However, the accidents they are involved in are more severe for opponent vehicles or vulnerable road users.

The safety watchdog expects vans to have the same ADAS level as passenger cars by 2026. As of then, only standard equipment will be reckoned with in the testing program.

Commercial van ratings were first adopted by Euro NCAP two years ago as an answer to their growing road presence related to booming delivery businesses and the more casual safety attitude from their manufacturers, putting price above protection.

Image Source: Euro NCAP

Authored by: Piet Andries