The 2018 Fiat Panda got crashed and tested under strict modern regulations by the European New Car Assessment Program recently, and came out of it with a solid zero out of five stars. The video from the test looks almost identical to the one the NCAP ran on the Panda in 2011, when the car got a four-star rating.
But in 2018, the Euro NCAP considers the Panda a zero-star car. Across all of the assessments, the Panda scored 45 percent of the total points in adult-occupant protection, 16 percent in child-occupant protection, 47 percent in protecting vulnerable road users like pedestrians, and 7 percent in safety assistance.
The Fiat Panda isn’t sold in the United States, but it is in the European market, which means it falls under the Euro NCAP’s testing range.
The Euro NCAP said the passenger compartment of the Panda remained stable during the frontal offset test shown in the gif above, but that’s common among vehicles in regions with strict crash tests these days. Where some the problems came were on the dummy readings, which the NCAP said showed weak chest protection on the driver in the frontal test. (“Weak” is the second-lowest rating, with “poor” listed as the NCAP’s lowest.) Adult chest and neck protection got low ratings across most tests, while leg and knee protection did well.
The chart on the Euro NCAP’s website says most of what needs to be said about the rated child protection under current standards in the Panda:
In pedestrian protection, most areas on the exterior of the Panda scored either adequate or marginal this year, with marginal being the middle of five ratings and adequate being the second best. Pedestrian protection was poor around the windshield and A-pillars, according to the NCAP.
Where the car really did poorly was in safety-assistance technology, where it scored 7 percent. The NCAP has categories for speed assistance, lane support, seat-belt reminders and automatic emergency braking, and the Panda scored zero points in every category but the seat-belt reminders. Here was the NCAP’s quick commentary on the car’s assistance features:
The Panda has a seatbelt reminder system for the front and rear seats. However, the system did not meet Euro NCAP’s requirements for the rear and only the front-seat system scored. The Panda is not equipped with any other driver-assistance system which scores in Euro NCAP’s rating scheme.
Jalopnik has reached out to Fiat in Europe for comment on the ratings for this model year of the car, and will update this story if we hear back.
Both the 2011 Panda and the Panda from this model year are part of the third generation of the car, yet the 2011 car had a rating to brag about—four out of five stars—while the 2018 model will make headlines for the wrong reasons. The Euro NCAP’s standards have “changed progressively” since 2014, according to the German Association of the Automotive Industry, and it seems like the Panda hasn’t fared so well throughout those changes.
The car looks practically the same as it did in seven years ago, and here’s what one angle on both of their front offset deformable barrier tests looked like, with 2011 on bottom and 2018 on top. (The full 2011 test video is here.)
In the four-star overall rating from 2011, the Panda scored 82 percent in adult protection, 63 percent in child protection, 49 percent in pedestrian protection and 43 percent in safety assistance. There have been “significant changes” to how the Euro NCAP evaluates occupant and pedestrian protection since 2015, though, according to the German Association of the Automotive Industry, like testing dummies that represent passengers and drivers of different ages, sizes and weights. Child dummies were also replaced in 2016 to more accurately show possible injury, and changes to the pedestrian assessment were also made.
Regardless, 2018’s zero-star Panda looks a lot like 2011’s four-star car. The only difference is, safety standards have changed, and it doesn’t look like the Panda has changed with them.
Update, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. ET: A spokesperson for Fiat told Jalopnik that the “Panda meets or exceeds federal safety requirements in every market in which it is sold.”
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