Bit of a discussion - Andy22
i live in the north east and over the weekend a car accident claimed the life of friend of mine (who was driving) and the front passenger. To make it more cruel they were both in their early twenties, so had not really lived. i've always been after a safer car but this has put more emphasis on safety.

interestingly, but just coincidence another life was lost in the north east on that same saturday evening, the only similarity was the cars involved. they both drove vauxhall caviliers.

no i know these are very old cars and safety wasn't even an issue those days, but even my 406 gets a 44% ncap test result, which just doesn't make me "feel" safe.

I have now changed my plans slightly and i'm going for mainly safety over anything else and have short listed 5 cars.
new Laguna
new Megane
Rover 75
new Mondeo
new Vectra

not that i need a big car, it just gives that extra reassurance over a old mini!

now bearing in mind that i wanted reliability in my choice as well i think the 75 comes out top.

discussion, what are the views on all the cars and hopefully experiences of the laguna as that is the safest?
Bit of a discussion - Stargazer {P}
Looking at your shortlist, I would also testdrive the subaru legacy and either the volvo S/V40 and S60....with a 3 year old safety was a major driver for our car choice and we were happy with all of the above.

Ian
Bit of a discussion - Andy22
s40 not a good enough ncap result, i'm lookig mid eighties minimum.

and i'm on a budget as im buying second hand, budget £8000
Bit of a discussion - Maz
My opinions only...

Laguna - I would dismiss this because of the poor reliability record of too many specimens. The thing seems to be a mess electrically and it's broken a normally calm colleague of mine.

New Megane - Unproven and back end too weird.

75 - Class car and deserves to be in the underrated (and underpriced 2nd hand)top 10. Somehow Rover's fate too be just too late with an excellent car.

Mondeo - Another class choice, especially 2nd hand. The only major flaw is too many about.

Vectra - Please no, don't do it. One day you'll have to explain why you bought this monstrosity to someone with a Mazda6 and it'll make you cry.
Bit of a discussion - Dan J
Vectra - Please no, don't do it. One day you'll have
to explain why you bought this monstrosity to someone with a
Mazda6 and it'll make you cry.


Maz, you're bringing tears to my eyes already. Unless you've some penchant for masochism steer well clear - and that comes from painful experience (of Vectras...).

Sorry to hear the news Andy22 - it's b***** sobering stuff when this happens.
Bit of a discussion - Andrew-T
It always pulls one up short when an accident hits someone close. But (playing devil's advocate) why didn't you think about safety before - nothing out there has changed, only your perception. There's no more reason to concentrate heavily on safety now than there was not to consider it before. Just try to find a balance - when the shock has passed.
Bit of a discussion - Nsar
How is playing devil's advocate useful to this guy in these circumstances?
Bit of a discussion - volvoman
Commiserations Andy - I too lost a pal at age 20 in an RTA and his premature death has influenced me ever since. None of us can avoid fate but we can all drive a bit slower and safer. Can't really advise you on the choice of car but you're right to go for as safe a car as you can afford and there are people here much better qualifed than me to tell you what these might be. However there are many circumstances in which the type of car is irrelevant.

Your friend will not have died for nothing if all of us here try to recognise and alter our bad habits and try to drive more safely. My pal died over 20 years ago but now I've got young children I'm constantly aware of how much they rely on me and hence don't take the sort of risks I used to. I'm also much more aware of the possibly tragic consequences of my causing a serious accident. Even so, I still take chances from time to time in the ineterests of saving a few minutes so I'm gonna be taking a serious look at myself and the way I drive in the light of this sad reminder of our mortality.
Bit of a discussion - CM
I'm sorry to hear about your friend.

Can you tell me where you found the percentage figures for NCAP. I only thought that they dealt on a 5 star rating.

It would be great if safety was taken a little more seriously by motoring magazines and also by the manufacturers. By the sound of things the 5 star system may actually be a little better than this (ie marking out of 100) and manufacturers should be made by law to publicise their rating with every advert and point out their score to every buyer of one of their cars. Motoring mags should place less emphasis on 0-62mph and put more useful info in the publications like the NCAP results (and also stopping speed - I am probably as interested in 60-0 and 0-60).
Bit of a discussion - Nsar
SAAB 9-5 had the highest safety rating until the Laguna was launched as far as I know. NCAP also rates for pedestrian safety now.
Bit of a discussion - Andrew-T
I am trying to work out how buying a car with the highest possible 'safety rating' will affect the behaviour of its driver. Will the comfortable feeling that he/she may only break a leg instead of getting seriously crushed, make him/her drive just a little less carefully? One can't generalise, but I don't believe there can be no influence at all. I think it may be yet another example of statistics being interesting but not necessarily a wholly good thing.
Bit of a discussion - mal
Above all the overriding way to decreasing your chances the of being injured in an RTA is to drive carefully yourself and at all times be aware of what other lunatic drivers might do to increase your chances of injury.
Having said that I was lucky to be driving a Mitsubishi Galant when an Escort van collided head-on with me at 50mph, so I do see the advantage in driving a safer usually bigger car to further decrease you chances of injury.
Bit of a discussion - Dave_TD
I am trying to work out how buying a car with
the highest possible 'safety rating' will affect the behaviour of its
driver. Will the comfortable feeling that he/she may only break
a leg instead of getting seriously crushed, make him/her drive just
a little less carefully? One can't generalise, but I don't
believe there can be no influence at all. I think
it may be yet another example of statistics being interesting but
not necessarily a wholly good thing.


This was apparent for years before all the mainstream manufacturers decided that "safety sells", when Volvo drivers were renowned for being arrogant on the road as they perceived themselves to be in a "safe" car.
FWIW, I bought a T-reg Mondeo last month for SWMBO to drive my daughters (aged 5 and 3) around in, and I feel that it was the safest practical choice when all was said and done, taking into account everything from how easy she found it to drive through to how much it would cost to insure.
Also, I had a Nova run into the back of my Octavia tonight, causing about £1500 worth of damage to my car. Fortunately for me everything did its job and I got out without even the first hint of whiplash. Maybe you could add the Octavia to your list?

Deepest sympathies to you and to your friends' families at this time, I have never had anything like this happen to anyone close to me but I can imagine how devestating it must be.
Bit of a discussion - Hairy Hat Man
"I am trying to work out how buying a car with the highest possible 'safety rating' will affect the behaviour of its driver."

It has to have an influence. If you knew the car you were driving could hit a brick wall at 60 with no damage to it nor its passengers, you would drive it very differently to a car made of paper. It's just a question of where your peception of the car you are driving lies between these two extremes.

I currently drive a 320 with 'dynamic stability control' and I know that I can sometimes be careless when cornering in the wet with the knowledge that the car won't 'let go' unexpectedly. Without the abs/traction control/stability control, I'm sure there are times when I'd drive more slowly, just because I don't know exactly where the limit of the car/conditions/surface are and would leave a fair margin of safety and would therefore drive slower in certain circumstances. I don't beleieve I'm putting myself in any more danger by letting the car find its limit of traction, but does this increase the hazard I present to other road users around me?
Bit of a discussion - BrianW
Safety features on cars (and all other safety measures) seem to reduce the chance of serious injury but have less effect in fatalities.

During the last 10 years KSI in the UK have reduced by 20%, from 50k to 40k, but fatalities have only come down by 5%, from 3,650 to 3,450.
Bit of a discussion - owen
This is becuase fatalities generally occur at higher speeds - the more severe the crash or the faster you drive, the less you can expect either passive or active safety features to be able to do in order to avoid injury.

Whilst i do appreciate the value of safety features such as seat belts and front airbags, another point to note is that many safety features are now fitted primarily for marketing reasons, and are unproven in the real world. Laboratory and NCAP tests can only tell you so much about the effectiveness of a particular device - until such a device has been observed in the range of crashes that happen in real life, it cannot be hailed as a lifesaver.

My point is, the single most effective way to lower your chances of death or serious injury is to drive intelligently - not only by good judgement of your own actions, but also by the good anticipations of others.
Bit of a discussion - Dan J
The Laguna had originally been rated an albeit good 4 stars. Thhe judges had to concede though when Renault successully highlighted that the car couldn't possibly be dangerous as it spends most of its life on garage ramps.
Bit of a discussion - HF
I have nothing useful to say here, except thatI would just like to echo others' comments in expressing my sympathy to Andy.

I'm sorry - words can't say any more.
HF
Bit of a discussion - peterb
Sorry about your friend, Andy.

On the assumption that prevention is better than cure, have you thought of getting some advanced driving instruction from the IAM or RoSPA? A trip to the skidpan might also be useful.
Bit of a discussion - nick
Sorry to hear about your friend, Andy. My wife had a lucky escape lately sliding off an ungritted rural road, through 2 small trees and into a deep ditch. Luckily not a scratch thanks to the air bag and being in a big vehicle (jeep cherokee). The jeep was written off though. So I went through a similar process to you and ended up with a 2000 W plate Subaru Legacy saloon. Although only the poverty spec it has 4 airbags, seat belt pretensioners and ABS plus the best handling I've experienced of a car in it's class due to the 4 wheel drive and low slung engine. So hopefully less chance of getting in the accident in the first place. I also looked at MSN's US site for crash data, you can get much more detail than over here, assuming the car is on the US market.
Plus of course you get bullet-proof reliability.
Bit of a discussion - 3500S
Like others I'm sorry to hear the news about your friends, it really does bring what is really important in life to the fore.

As for the cars, I don't know about the others but I'm currently looking at the 75. It has an NCap 4 star safety rating and would have scored 5 if the side impact air-bags were fitted as standard. Out of the five you've mentioned, I'd argue at it being the more solid car of the five.
Bit of a discussion - Andy22
thanks for the response.

firstly on parkers online or the ncap official website you can see the review of each car they have done. at the top their is a front impact % and side impact %, they then calculate the star rating. the pedestran score doesn't count i don't think.

i have never driven fast or "on the edge" so a safer car will not influence me to drive more recklessly. but it will give me personal peace of mind.

on the car front, i,ve seen some shocking reviews of the laguna's reliability, which at first completly put me off, but then looking on the car by car breakdown there seems to of been recalls for most of them, so i'm still unsure on that front.

the megane i must admit will possibly have the same problems, and may be out of my price range.

the 75 sounds like a good option to me and from all accounts its a really nice car too.

vectra, well it was only a suggestion really.

finally the mondeo, if you look at the frontal crash test results they weren't to good (63%) which has at this point in time put me off.
Bit of a discussion - matt35 {P}
Andy,
My sympathy too, in the loss of your friend.
I would echo peterbs' comment re joining the IAM or RoSPA - without any doubt, the training will give you more security in your motoring than any change of vehicle is likely to give you.
Regards,
Matt35.
Bit of a discussion - Andy22
i pride myself on being a good driver, i don't think that is the solution.

so any owners reports of the new laguna?
 

Value my car