A new round of Euro NCAP crash testing has seen 5-Star safety ratings handed down to 14 new models, many on their way to Australia in the coming year.
Volkswagen's brand-new 2013 Golf led the way, "setting a new benchmark" through the inclusion of advanced safety technology more commonly found in up-market models.
The Golf's new safety features include Multi Collision Braking, Front Assist, Proactive Occupant Protection and Lane Assist.
Euro NCAP 5-Star models recently launched in Australia include the Mitsubishi Outlander and Hyundai's Santa Fe, while the updated-for-2013 Fiesta had its score upgraded through the addition of Ford's overseas MyKey system.
Opel's Mokka crossover, believed to be under consideration for an Australian debut, also achieved a 5-Star rating.
Models not available in Australia but now carrying a 5-Star rating in Europe, include the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, Seat's Leon and Toledo models, and the Fiat 500L (under consideration for Australia).
Australian safety scores for these models, classified by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program, are yet to be confirmed.