2018 Nissan Leaf beats rebadged Bolt in Euro NCAP crash testing

Nissan's electric car earns top marks

The 2018 Nissan Leaf small electric hatchback looks like it will be a very safe choice for buyers. And we mean that very literally. Euro NCAP, the organization responsible for crash tests and safety ratings in Europe tested the Leaf and gave it five stars out of five for overall safety. The safety rating is based on four categories with a maximum score of 100 percent in any one. The Leaf earned a 93 percent for adult occupant safety, 86 percent for children, 71 percent for pedestrians, and 71 percent for safety assists.

In comparison with the Chevy Bolt EV, known as the Opel or Vauxhall Ampera-e in Europe, the Leaf wins out. The Bolt/Ampera-e got four stars, and its scores of 82 percent and 73 percent for adult and child safety respectively are clearly worse. The GM electric did get better pedestrian and assist scores of 75 and 72 percent respectively, though.

The Leaf hasn't yet been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But considering its success in European testing, it will likely do well in IIHS tests. The Bolt EV scored very well in IIHS testing, earning the highest "Good" rating in every test performed except for headlights, which were rated "Poor," and child seat LATCH ease-of-use, which was "Marginal." There is no rating yet for the Bolt EV's passenger small offset test, which is one of the organization's newer tests.

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