The independent rating programme was first introduced in 2021 amid growing concerns for the lack of safety-critical equipment that is available on new vans, compared with new cars. Scores are based on the availability of emergency braking, speed limiter, lane support, and seatbelt reminder systems, as well as the performance of active safety technology.
Per mile travelled, vans and LCVs are involved in more deaths of other road users than any other vehicle type. And, with UK van sales continuing to rise sharply safety experts want van manufacturers to do more to ensure their vehicles offer collision-avoidance technology that has been proven to protect other road users.
FIAT is the manufacturer that has raised its game the most since the first batch of test results were released in 2021. Its Ducato previously only just secured a Bronze rating, with a score of 28%. But fast-forward to the latest results and the re-worked Ducato’s score has increased to 88% – ensuring its status as the first van to ever receive a Platinum rating.
Its 60% score increase was attributed to the all-round strong performance of its AEB and speed assistance systems, as well as its improved lane support capability, with the addition of Lane Keep Assist (LKA) which helps steer the van back into its lane.
Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research’s Chief Research Strategy Officer, said: “FIAT have completely raised the bar this year and we welcome the brand’s response to our calls for improved safety on vans. To jump 60% from one assessment to the next is very impressive and we congratulate the brand for achieving the world’s first Platinum rating.
“It is also good news that this Platinum rating has been achieved by a shared van platform within the Stellantis Group. The Ducato’s performance has the potential to benefit a huge chunk of the market because the Vauxhall Movano, Peugeot Boxer and Citroën Relay share the same production platform. We hope the Ducato’s features will be made available on these vans too.”