The safest vans for 2023 have been announced by Euro NCAP.

This year’s NCAP ratings have been tightened with stricter criteria. Results for eighteen vans tested under the new conditions include the Fiat Ducato, which was rated Platinum last year and once again tops the list but has dropped to gold under this year’s tougher protocol.

Further results include the Ford Transit, which also achieved a gold rating. The Mercedes-Benz Vito drops from gold to a silver rating, where it joins the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Volkswagen Transporter, the Renault Trafic, Nissan Primastar and Volkswagen Crafter

Introduced two years ago, the ratings aimed to improve safety information for fleet managers and provide a safer experience for van drivers and other road users.

Commercial vans do not have a higher crash rate than other vehicles, but crashes involving vans tend to be more severe for their opponent vehicles and vulnerable road users.

According to Euro NCAP, ADAS technology can help effectively prevent or mitigate the consequences of these crashes. However, commercial vans are often not adequately equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

Euro NCAP’s new criteria for Commercial Van Ratings takes ADAS to a higher level with greater emphasis on vulnerable road users including pedestrian safety, with focus on night-time scenarios, and cyclists as well as the introduction of one new van-to-car crash scenario.

Euro NCAP will also soon be introducing a ratings scheme for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

“Goods transport is essential in the modern world and most freight is still transported by road,” said Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary-General Euro NCAP.

“Population growth and standard of living increases only heighten demand. Vans and trucks are likely to become more important, not less. With this increase comes the negative effect on road safety and the environment. Euro NCAP strongly believes that it must expand its safety testing to larger and heavier trucks (HGVs).”