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The new third generation Prius' outstanding fuel economy need not stand in the way of a high level of safety, according to the latest Euro NCAP results.
In the latest rating results, the third generation Prius was one of eight new cars to be tested under the recently revised rating scheme, seven of which were awarded a five star rating.
Two of the top-scorers are amongst the car industry's most fuel efficient vehicles: the Honda Insight and Toyota's new Prius.
Euro NCAP particularly commended these hybrid vehicles for their impressive pedestrian scores for not only fulfilling Euro NCAP's current five star requirements, but already meeting the organisation's 2012 targets.
The all new third generation Prius, launched in August, is full of active and passive safety features with a total of nine airbags, including driver and front passenger's front and side airbags; front and rear curtain shield airbags, and a driver's knee airbag.
Active front headrests are used in both front seats to reduce the possibility of whiplash injury in a rear collision, using a mechanical linkage to move the headrest up and forwards so that in a rear collision the headrest can more effectively cushion the occupants' head.
Prius' new state of the art braking system combines brake by wire technology and regenerative braking.
Regenerative braking uses the hybrid systems motor / generators to convert the vehicle's kinetic energy into electric energy.
An Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) are included as part of Toyota's standard safety package within new Prius.
VSC automatically controls engine output and brakes on each wheel should the vehicle lose traction or grip during a turn.
Three ALR/ELR rear seat seatbelts are included as standard. All three rear seatbelts have child seat tether anchor points as well as two ISO fixing points.
The Prius i-Tech has the added features of a pre-crash safety system with dynamic radar cruise control which alerts the driver if a collision is likely.
The second generation Prius gained five stars under the previous Euro NCAP testing criteria, although the testing was less stringent.