Lexus Safety explained
Lexus Euro- NCAP Rating
When researching cars, you might have seen something about safety rating, like “The Lexus ES received a five-star rating during EuroNCAP rating.” We’re going to tell you what that means, and why Lexus vehicles do so well in safety tests.
EuroNCAP stands for European New Car Assessment Programme, and was created in 1996. It is an independent car safety assessment programme designed to allow car buyers to compare one vehicle with another in terms of safety, which has become a priority in today’s car-buying market. Over 1800 vehicle models have been tested since EuroNCAP was introduced, and EuroNCAP has been a driving force in making modern vehicles far safer than those of even 20 years ago.
As you’d expect, EuroNCAP updates its tests to keep ahead of the updated safety systems in modern vehicles, so a car that achieved a five-star rating in 2009 might conceivably not get a five-star rating if tested today.
When a car is tested it is assessed in four key areas: Adult Occupant Protection, Child Occupant Protection, Vulnerable Road User (VRU) protection (which includes pedestrians and cyclists) and Safety Assist, which includes driver-assistance and crash-avoidance technologies.
In testing, a vehicle is crashed under strict conditions, and how it copes in the crash determines how many points it gets, which are then translated into stars, with 0 being the lowest and 5 the highest, or safest. The EuroNCAP describes 5-star safety as: “Overall excellent performance in crash protection and well equipped with comprehensive and robust crash avoidance technology.”
Lexus is known for dedication to safety, and Lexus vehicles achieve very high results when tested.
As an example, when the new Lexus ES was tested in 2018 it achieved one of the highest average scores of any vehicle the organisation has tested. The fact that the ES, one of the less high-end Lexus models available, scores so highly is indicative of the company’s commitment to making the benefits of advanced safety technologies available across the emtire range.
The ES scored highly across all four key areas, but one of the reasons why the ES outscored almost all other vehicles is Lexus Safety System+, which is a standard feature on the ES 300h SE.
Lexus Safety System+ is an integrated suite of four advanced safety systems designed to help in certain circumstances, from alerting you of pedestrians to helping you maintain a pre-set speed and following distance from the vehicle ahead.
In South Africa, the ES 300h SE is also fitted with the Pre-Crash System (PCS) which is capable of detecting oncoming vehicles and pedestrians. PCS has also been enhanced to detect pedestrians at night by increasing the radar’s sensitivity and dynamic range.
Other features which form part of the Lexus Safety System+ include:
Adaptive Cruise Control;
Lane Departure Alert (LDA), which detects yellow and white road lines as well as the edges of the road;
Adaptive High Beam System (AHS) – not only turns the headlight high beams on and off automatically for the driver, but its 24 individual LED light array is capable of adapting the light pattern to provide enhanced illumination while reducing glare for oncoming drivers;
Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) - incorporating Rear Cross Traffic Alert - this is supported with high-definition cameras for a crisp clear view. The model also has a Panoramic View Monitor display, which displays a composite image from cameras installed in the front, the left and right outer mirrors, as well as the rear of the vehicle on the multimedia display. This shows the vehicle as if viewed from above to support the driver when reversing at slow speeds.
Other Lexus vehicles to have recently gained a maximum of five stars in the EuroNCAP tests are the NX, RX and UX.