When we talked about a four door version of Volkswagen’s hot-selling (in Europe, not available stateside) small car, the Up!, one commenter in particular equaled the car to a happy meal container and its owners to baby killers. A small car can be very safe – if its engineers know what they are doing. It just so happens that that little happy meal container is proof of it. It was elected one of Europe’s safest cars.
Volkswagen’s Up! has been awarded five stars by Euro NCAP, the highest rating the independent European consumer protection organization can bestow. Wait, it can do one better: Euro NCAP also gave the Up! the 2012 Advanced Award, for the UP!’s City Emergency Braking function. According to Euro NCAP, the Up! is the safest cars in its class.
As a small car, you need to be a little smarter than a dumb tank that simply barges through. The City Emergency Braking function for instance is automatically activated at speeds between 5 and 30 km/ h, and it uses a laser sensor (integrated in the upper area of the windscreen) to scan a space up to 10 meters (33 feet) in front of the Up! According to Volkswagen, the Up! is the only car in its segment that can be equipped with a City Emergency Braking function.