The new Dacia Jogger MPV has been given a rare one-star rating by safety agency Euro NCAP.
The budget seven-seater was criticised for its relatively poor protection of passengers and for a lack of active safety systems.
The Jogger’s score is based on testing of the Dacia Sandero Stepway, which itself scored a lowly two stars last year. Euro NCAP noted “their structure is practically identical [and] Euro NCAP…performed additional tests where necessary”.
The Jogger’s score was lower because it failed to include any additional safety features to protect passengers in the rear-most row of seats. Testers found there were no seat belt reminders for the third row of seats and the side-curtain airbag does not extend far enough back to provide protection for those in the rear row.
The Jogger also scored relatively poorly for overall passenger protection, scoring 70% for adults and 69% for children - significantly lower than most other vehicles tested in recent years - and some aspects were rated “weak” or”marginal”, although others were marked as “good”.
Matthew Avery, chief research strategy officer at Thatcham Research said: “For a family car this safety performance is disappointing. The vehicle may be more affordable than others in the same category, but in terms of safety it appears that you do get what you pay for.”
The current Euro NCAP tests reward cars that feature the latest active driver assistance systems designed to prevent or lessen the impact of collisions. The Jogger, which starts at £15,345, was criticised for lacking many features which are increasingly common on even basic models and scored just 39% for safety assist.
Euro NCAP labelled the Jogger’s autonomous emergency braking as “substandard” as it is only capable of detecting other vehicles, not pedestrians or cyclists.
The Romania brand said it would not “chase Euro NCAP stars” by fitting technology its customers did not want.
A spokesperson said: “At Dacia, we take the safety of our customers extremely seriously. As a car maker, Dacia’s objective has always been to produce vehicles that meet the expectations of our customers: modern, affordable, and fully compliant with European regulations.
“Euro NCAP has its own evolutive protocol of tests that have become increasingly stringent every two years. Dacia’s objective is not to chase Euro NCAP stars that would imply fitting vehicles with features and technologies, like some ADAS, that our customers do not want to use and/or pay for today. We will continue to listen to customer expectations and fit models with more and more safety assists as these changes.
“Jogger is a safe new C-segment car that is homologated and compliant with European safety regulations. All-New Jogger is safe and protects occupants to a high standard. It proposes a full list of safety features, providing better protection than most of the cars on the roads of Europe today.”
The spokesperson added that the rating was linked to the seven-seat version of the Jogger and five-seat model should have the same four-star rating for occupant protection and two-star overall rating awarded to the Sandero Stepway, “however, there will not be details published about Jogger 5 seats version by EuroNCAP”.