Renault’s Megane Coupe-Cabriolet has been awarded the maximum five stars in the independent Euro NCAP crash tests, making it the sixth Renault to achieve the top rating.

Tested in cabriolet configuration, the Megane achieved a score of 33.56 out of 371, with an excellent performance notably under frontal impact, scoring even higher than the Scenic II which was until now the safest car on the market under this type of impact.

The Euro NCAP tests are designed to cover 70% to 80% of real-life accident situations, and use data collected from test dummies, among other sensors, to collate the results.

Structural behaviour proved exemplary, with no intrusion into the passenger compartment, while the anti-submarining airbag (fitted in the front seats on the Sport Hatch and Coupe-Cabriolet Megane versions instead of the dual seatbelt pretensioner on other Meganes) fulfilled its specified functions in preventing abdominal injuries and holding the front-seat occupants firmly against their seats to minimise the risk of lower-limb injury.

The body structure is specially reinforced at several locations – the body sides are linked by two partitions (lower and upper) behind the rear seats, with the lower partition structurally bonded to the floor – while the side sills play an instrumental role in controlling longitudinal flex and improving body stiffness.

The front pillar assembly is specially reinforced and stiffened with a 35 mm diameter tube in 6 mm thick VHEL steel to protect passengers under rollover conditions.

The engine compartment is designed to deform in a controlled manner under impact, to prevent intrusion of engine components into the passenger compartment. The steering wheel frame is collapsible and the steering column retractable, while the brake pedal is also retractable to minimise the risk of lower-limb injury, and special foot paddings for passenger and driver seats provide tibia and ankle protection. Furthermore, the dashboard is specially profiled to the shape of the tibia and designed to distribute load under impact. Side impact loads are absorbed by extensive padding, such as that in the door panels.

Front seats have two adaptive airbags, seatbelts with pretensioner and load limiters, anti-submarining airbags (instead of the dual pretensioner system) in the seat bottom, and head-thorax side airbags.

At the rear there are two seatbelts with load limiters and pretensioners, and a reinforced under-floor plate and short belt loops minimise submarining risks under frontal impact.

Side rear seats have three-point Isofix fasteners for safe, convenient fitting of child seats. If a universal child seat is fitted on the front passenger seat, the anti-submarining airbag is disabled along with the passenger airbag. These systems enabled Megane Coupe-Cabriolet to score three stars for child protection in the Euro NCAP tests.

In the event of rollover, vehicle occupants are protected by a protective cell formed by the upper windscreen crossmember at the front and the roll bars (fixed, or automatic on option) at the rear. The roll bars are covered in absorbent foam 35 mm thick.

The Renault range is now the safest on the market, with six cars achieving five-star rating in the Euro NCAP tests.

Espace IV

Five stars

Safest car in class

(2003)

Vel Satis

Five stars

Safest car in class

(2002)

Laguna II

Five stars

Safest car in class

(2003)

Scénic II

Five stars

 

(2003)

Mégane II

Five stars

Safest car in class

(2002)

Mégane Coupé-Cabriolet

Five stars

Safest car in class

(2004)

Clio

Four stars

 

(2000)

Kangoo

Four stars

 

(2003)