The new Ford Focus and Volvo XC40 have both achieved top-notch five-star ratings in the Euro NCAP crash test, despite changes to the way vehicles are assessed.

Under the new criteria, vehicles must have more advanced driver assistance systems, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB) that can detect cyclists and pedestrians, as well as cars.

However, because both the Volvo and the Ford boast such technology, they both scored around 75 percent in the safety assistance part of the test.

Both vehicles also scored more than 70 percent for their protection of “vulnerable road users,” which looks at whether the front of the car is unduly dangerous should it collide with a pedestrian or cyclist.

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Better still were the occupant protection scores, which saw both vehicles achieve 87 percent in child occupant protection. The Ford also scored a highly creditable 85 percent for adult protection, but this was eclipsed by the Volvo’s stunning 97 percent score, which put it in the top five scores recorded over the past three years.

Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, said: “It’s good to see that manufacturers, both in the premium sector and the volume market, are responding to our tough new requirements introduced in 2018 by fitting technologies that will save lives.

“Technologies like AEB deliver immediate safety benefits, but they are also enabling technologies for the autonomous vehicles of the future. Euro NCAP’s roadmap sets a series of demanding tests for each of these ‘milestone’ technologies seeking to ensure that their performance saves lives today as well as tomorrow.”

Gallery: Crash test Euro NCAP Ford Focus and Volvo XC40