If you want the cheapest new car possible, you may want to by a Dacia Lodgy.
If you want the safest car possible, you probably shouldn’t.
The Dacia Lodgy (Dodgy?) scored just three stars in the latest round of Euro NCAP safety test — a poor showing when every other car of the 15 tested scored five stars, including mid-market models like the Seat Leon and Fiat 500.
Unfortunately, poor safety ratings seem to run in the Dacia family — last week, the Dacia Sandero SUV scored just one star in the Latin NCAP tests in South America, where it is badged as a Renault.
Fair enough — it’s cheap
Of course, safety costs money and Dacias undercut pretty much every other car on the market in terms of cost — so perhaps it’s fair that they don’t offer the same levels of safety as other, more expensive models.
I think it’s a personal choice, but I have to admit I’m not sure how keen I would be, while Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, is in no doubt of his position:
“The Lodgy is a budget vehicle and customers will accept compromises in comfort and performance, but not safety. Euro NCAP believes that occupants’ safety should be paramount, regardless of how much they pay for their vehicle.”
For the sake of completeness, here is the complete list of cars that was tested in Euro NCAP’s most recent testing session, along with their star rating (click on the car’s name to see the full Euro NCAP test report):
- Dacia Lodgy: 3 stars
- FIAT 500L: 5 stars
- Ford Fiesta: 5 stars
- Ford Kuga: 5 stars
- Hyundai Santa Fe: 5 stars
- Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 5 stars
- Mitsubishi Outlander: 5 stars
- Opel Mokka: 5 stars
- SEAT Leon: 5 stars
- Skoda Rapid: 5 stars
- SEAT Toledo: 5 stars
- Subaru Forester: 5 stars
- The new Range Rover: 5 stars
- Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid: 5 stars
- The latest (seventh-generation) Volkswagen Golf: 5 stars
You can find test ratings for all current and recent production models by visiting the Euro NCAP website.