The Audi e-tron Sportback and Renault Clio E-Tech also scored well.

The new Toyota Yaris has achieved a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, despite the introduction of a tougher test. The Fiesta-rivalling supermini was the first car to go through the updated test, which includes a new way of measuring injuries.

The new frontal offset test replaces the one in use since the Euro NCAP programme was devised in 1997, and it’s the first to feature a counter-measure for injuries sustained in impacts with the passenger side of the vehicle. The new barrier test assesses the risks a car poses to the vehicle it has crashed into, as well as protection it offers its own occupants.

With its diminutive proportions and “benign” front end, Euro NCAP says the Yaris is “one of the less aggressive crash partners on the road”. And for those inside, the car’s two centre-mounted airbags inflate during side impacts to limit occupants’ travel to the opposite side of the vehicle, minimising the risk of occupant-to-occupant contact.

That performance came alongside strong showings in other aspects of the test, including safety assistance systems. It scored highly across the board, but the fact the car is capable of stopping during a turn to prevent a crash with oncoming traffic only served to strengthen its case.

A strong score was also recorded for adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, and protection for vulnerable road users. All those scores were around the 80-percent mark, leaving the Yaris with a five-star rating.

And the little Toyota wasn’t the only car to pass with flying colours. The new Audi e-tron Sportback electric SUV joined its more conventionally bodied stablemate, the e-tron, in earning a five-star rating, while the Renault Clio E-Tech hybrid got full marks, too.

Both cars scored very highly for adult occupant protection, achieving 91 percent and 95 percent respectively. The Clio also managed an impressive 89 percent rating for child occupant protection.

“Congratulations to Toyota on a top rating for the Yaris,” said Michiel van Ratingen, the secretary-general of Euro NCAP. “This has been a tough year for all concerned and I am grateful to Euro NCAP’s labs and employees who have worked hard to deliver safety, while staying safe. We have had to adapt quickly to new working practices, and it is pleasing that the first car rated this year should have gone so far to address the safety issues that are emerging as top priorities.”