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Best cars for keeping families safe 2021


Whether you're taking your family out for a day trip or dropping off the kids on the school run, as a parent, grandparent or a loving aunt or uncle, you need the assurance that the car you're driving in provides superior protection to keep your family safe.

While trim levels and fuel economy are important considerations for a lot of drivers, if you have a young family it’s good to consider how much protection a car provides. Most cars in the 21st century have to be built to strict safety standards, however, some are better than others when it comes to keeping your family safe when travelling on the road.

We have put together a list of 10 cars that have been given excellent ratings by Euro NCAP and offer excellent safety features to help keep the driver and passengers safe.

1. Polestar 2


EURO NCAP Rating: 5*

Adult Occupant Protection Score: 92%

Child Occupant Protection Score: 89%

Volvo has built its reputation on safety, and the same focus has been applied to the Swedish car manufacturer’s Polestar division.

This electric vehicle was awarded its maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP in 2021, and it achieved an excellent 90% score for vulnerable road-user protection and 86% in the safety assists category. The car’s passenger protection scores are also impressive, with a 92% rating for adult safety and 89% for child protection.

The Polestar 2 is equipped with a vast array of protective and preventative safety features. To help prevent collisions, the latest Advanced Driver Assistance System includes features such as automatic braking, driver alert, road sign information, lane-keeping aid, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot information system with steering support, cross-traffic alert with automatic braking and rear-collision warning and mitigation.

In addition, the Pilot Assist is a driver assistance system that can be turned on and off, providing acceleration, braking and steering assistance up to 130 km/h. Other safety features include a 360-degree camera and all-around parking sensors.

Among an array of airbags are inner-side airbags for the front seats. While conventional side airbags are mounted on the side of a seat nearest the door, the new airbags are mounted on the opposite side, ensuring occupants are protected on both sides of their bodies, according to Polestar.

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2. Kia Sportage


EURO NCAP Rating: 5*

Adult Occupant Protection Score: 90%

Child Occupant Protection Score: 83%

The latest Sportage has a host of excellent safety features to keep you and your young family as safe as possible. The Euro NCAP is an independent organisation that judges each vehicle’s safety, producing annual reports on all the latest models. 

After reviewing the Sportage’s standard safety features, Euro NCAP awarded the full five-star rating, with an excellent 90% adult occupant protection score and 83% child protection score.

The Sportage has a generous amount of safety equipment. Apart from the legally required traction control, anti-lock brakes and stability control, Kia has also provided an electronic brake force distribution system that automatically sends the most brake power to the wheel with the most grip. There’s also a useful braking assistance system to help ensure maximum braking force is applied in an emergency, no matter how much force you put through the brake pedal.

The Sportage includes ISOFIX fittings for your young ones and has seatbelt reminders for both front and rear seats. In addition, there are Speed Assistance and Lane Assistance features that automatically keep a lookout for, and if possible, avoid potential dangers on the road.

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3. Ford Focus


EURO NCAP Rating: 5*

Adult Occupant Protection Score: 96%

Child Occupant Protection Score: 87%

The current Ford Focus was launched in 2018 and is now in its fourth generation. There’s a good reason why the Ford Focus has been around for over 20 years (that makes me feel old) and is one of the UK’s best-selling cars. It provides a sophisticated driving experience, lots of comforts, style and safety features.

The latest Ford Focus has plenty of safety features to try and prevent you from having an accident. And on the subject of safety, the Focus was awarded a convincing five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and is one of the safest cars in its class.

In fact, it has more safety technology than any previous Ford before it. The Focus is fitted with three radars, two cameras and twelve ultrasonic sensors, which all help to try and prevent collisions before they even happen.

An additional suite of safety kit called ‘Co-Pilot 360’ includes adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition and a system to help keep the Focus in the middle of its lane on the motorway.

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4. Cupra Formentor


EURO NCAP Rating: 5*

Adult Occupant Protection Score: 93%

Child Occupant Protection Score: 88%

The Cupra is the upmarket sister brand to Spanish car manufacturer Seat, and it has produced its first bespoke SUV to rival the likes of the Volvo XC40 and the Audi Q3. Despite the Formentor being Cupra’s first standalone vehicle, it was awarded a convincing five-star Euro NCAP rating. Its rating included 93%, 88% and 80% in the adult occupant, child occupant, and safety assist categories, respectively.

The standard safety features for the Formentor include Front Assist with auto emergency braking and pedestrian detection, along with side and exit assist, emergency steering, junction assist, lane assist and e-call that will inform the emergency services if the vehicle is involved in a heavy collision.

There are multiple airbags, a seat belt reminder for front and rear seats and traffic sign recognition. If you upgrade to the VZ1 trim, blindspot monitoring is also included.

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5. Skoda Enyaq iV


EURO NCAP Rating: 5*

Adult Occupant Protection Score: 94%

Child Occupant Protection Score: 89%

Skoda has enjoyed a fantastic reputation for building reliable cars, but they are also now gaining traction for exceptional safety results. The Enyaq, which is Skoda’s first all-electric SUV, is another vehicle awarded the full-five star rating from Euro NCAP during 2021.

It scored extremely well with 94% and 89% for adult and child occupant protection, respectively. An additional score of 82% for the Safety Assist category shows how notable its collision-mitigation features are.

The standard safety kit includes up to nine airbags, including a central airbag between the front seats. There are numerous state-of-the-art assistance systems to alert the driver to potential collisions and even actively help to prevent them or minimise the consequences. These assistance systems include Front Assist with predictive pedestrian and cyclist protection, Side Assist including Rear Traffic Alert, as well as Collision-Avoidance Assist, Turn Assist and Exit Warning.

Travel Assist actively supports the driver in longitudinally and laterally controlling the vehicle and, along with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), also includes Adaptive Lane Assist with roadworks recognition, Traffic Jam Assist and Emergency Assist.

Additional features include autonomous emergency braking and ISOFIX child-seat mounting points for the front and outer rear passenger seats.

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6. Volkswagen ID.4


EURO NCAP Rating: 5*

Adult Occupant Protection Score: 93%

Child Occupant Protection Score: 89%

The VW ID4 is the German brand’s first-ever electric SUV, and it’s almost certain to become one of the most in-demand electric models in 2021.

As of 2021, the VW ID4 is currently one of the safest cars on UK roads. It scored 93% for adult occupant protection and 89% for child protection. We think the ID4 is a fantastic choice for families.

Safety features for the Volkswagen ID.4 include adaptive cruise control, rear and front parking sensors, lane keep assist, and front assist which helps detect obstacles in front of the car, including pedestrians. There are plenty of airbags to give protection to the front and rear passengers. If you need to fit car seats into the ID4, you’ll be pleased to know there is ISOFIX child seat preparation to make your life easier.

For drivers who are a parent struggling with tiredness after a day out with the kids or struggling with interruptions to their sleep, the ID4 will warn you if it detects you’re suffering from fatigue.

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7. Toyota Yaris


EURO NCAP Rating: 5*

Adult Occupant Protection Score: 86%

Child Occupant Protection Score: 81%

The all-new Toyota Yaris performed well after being put through its paces in Euro NCAP’s 2020 tests – it scored 86% for adult occupancy, although it only scored 81% for child occupants. However, its expansive selection of safety systems is a solid 85%. These scores resulted in Euro NCAP awarding the Yaris a five-star rating.

As you would expect from Toyota, the Yaris is fitted with an impressive set of safety kit as standard, including active systems such as a Pre-Collision function with cyclist and pedestrian detection, Road Sign Assist, Emergency Steering Assist and a Driver Attention Alert. 

Entry-level cars also come with a reversing camera, Automatic High Beam and Toyota’s e-call emergency call system.

If an accident does occur, the Yaris is the first Toyota to be equipped with centre air bags. These are programmed to deploy in the event of a side impact to help prevent the driver and front-seat passengers from colliding with each other.

Other safety features include Lane Departure Alert, which warns the driver if they are steering off a safe path; Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Blind-Spot Monitor to help detect potential hazards during reversing manoeuvres.

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8. SEAT Leon


EURO NCAP Rating: 5*

Adult Occupant Protection Score: 92%

Child Occupant Protection Score: 88%

The all-new SEAT Leon was awarded the Euro NCAP safety rating in 2020, and the results demonstrated that the Leon is one of the safest vehicles on the market.

A range of the latest safety systems based on a mixture of sensor data allows the all-new SEAT Leon to see the road ahead like never before and, importantly, adapt to changing driving scenarios. For example, the Pre-Crash Assist system reacts in just 0.2 seconds should it detect an accident is about to happen. It tightens the seatbelts, activates the hazard lights, rolls up the windows and closes the sunroof – all helping to protect the passenger compartment.

Some of the safety features (although some are optional) include Autonomous Emergency Braking, Side and Exit Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Traffic Jam Assist and Light Assist.

In addition, the vehicle has seven airbags, including a standard front-central airbag which helps prevent head contact between the driver and front passenger in the event of a side collision.

In addition to detecting vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, the Front Assist feature includes Emergency Steering Assist and Junction Assist. During a Front Assist intervention, after the driver’s initial steering input to avoid an object, the Emergency Steering Assist makes targeted steering and braking interventions to help find an optimised evading trajectory.

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9. Audi Q4


EURO NCAP Rating: 5*

Adult Occupant Protection Score: 93%

Child Occupant Protection Score: 89%

If you’re wondering whether leasing an all-electric SUV is the right choice for a family vehicle, then the Audi Q4 e-tron has all the right answers.


The Q4 e-tron ticks all the boxes for family life: it's abundantly equipped, a pleasure to drive, and practical.  The German manufacturer is expecting this SUV to become their highest seller behind the A3 hatchback.


The Q4 e-tron received Euro NCAP's maximum five-star rating, with a 93 per cent score for adult occupant safety and 89 per cent for child passenger protection. 

There is a good amount of standard safety kit provided, with the base 35 Sport model including cruise control with a speed limiter, lane departure warning, Audi’s Pre-sense Front system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, traffic sign recognition tech and a Swerve and Turn Assist system. 

By upgrading to the Vorsprung spec, you get a multitude of other driver-assist technology, comprising Audi’s Parking System Plus, an augmented reality head-up display, pre-sense side and rear systems, Cross-traffic assist, adaptive cruise control and a reversing camera.

One of the key benefits to leasing an all-electric car, apart from its low running costs and zero CO2 emissions, is that it requires significantly less maintenance than a traditional combustion-engined model.  This is reflected by Audi’s suggested two-year/19,000-mile service intervals.

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10. Land Rover Defender


EURO NCAP Rating: 5*

Adult Occupant Protection Score: 85%

Child Occupant Protection Score: 85%

Land Rover has quelled the doubters and created a Defender worthy of the famous brand name. It’s definitely a more modern, luxurious and stylish vehicle than before, but the Defender hasn't lost any of its ability to tackle any conditions thrown its way. 

You can be reassured that, besides the Defender’s core attributes, there’s a level of elegance that will make tackling the urban jungle just as easy as the steepest of slopes or the soggiest of fields. 

Passengers of different ages and sizes will be well protected in the award-wining New Land Rover Defender 110 as it scored 85% in the adult and child protection categories and it achieved a five-star Euro NCAP rating.

The Defender is fitted with an impressive amount of safety kit as standard, which includes automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition and eCall+, which is a system designed to send an automatic message to an emergency call centre in case of an accident. Further safety kit options include blind-spot detection, a 3D surround camera, a clear exit monitor, adaptive cruise control, a rear collision monitor and a rear traffic monitor.

Six airbags are designed to protect the driver and passengers, while up to three ISOFIX mounting points are available.


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