Think All New Cars Are Safer? The Electric Renault Zoe Just Scored Zero Stars In European Crash Tests

Renault Zoe — Zero-star crash test rating
This is the all-electric Renault Zoe getting a whopping zero stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. (Images: Euro NCAP)

This is one of Europe’s most popular EVs.

On the whole, new cars get at least a bit safer with each generation. That’s not always true, though, as the European Renault Zoe makes painfully clear in the footage below. The European New Car Assessment Program (or Euro NCAP) but the recently facelifted model through its paces and it managed zero out of a possible five-star rating — making it only the third car in the program’s history to do so.

Mind you, that result comes twenty years after the now-defunct Renault Laguna sedan was the first to hit a five-star rating. “Renault was once synonymous with safety,” said Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen said in a public statement Wednesday. Overall, the statement noted the Zoe’s poor overall crash protection, poor vulnerable road user (pedestrian) protection and lack of “meaningful” crash avoidance technology disqualified the car for any stars.

Renault Zoe — Zero-star crash test rating

The Dacia Spring, under Renault’s budget-focused sub-brand, fares little better. It only received a one star rating, with the program calling its crashworthiness “downright problematic”, with high risk of life-threatening injuries to the driver’s chest and passenger’s head in frontal crash tests.

Euro NCAP releases a more detailed report alongside the high-level star rating, in which the Renault Zoe scored poorly alongside other small cars in protection for adult occupants, children, vulnerable road users and with its safety assist tech. It’s worth noting this rating does not prohibit cars from going on sale. Like IIHS ratings in the United States, however, consumers do pay attention to the results. Moving forward, poor sales resulting from the Zoe’s zero-star rating may well force Renault to update its design.

Standards do change, and even vehicles that did well can fall behind the times. Here in the U.S., for example, the Honda HR-V scored the worst possible rating in the IIHS’s updated side crash test. That model is due for an update soon, but it never hurts to be aware of how a vehicle may perform in a real-life crash the next time you’re shopping for a new car. Hopefully, the Renault Zoe will improve in short order./youtube