The Jaguar XF was awarded only four stars in the latest round of Euro NCAP crash tests. The same batch of results awarded the Audi A1 five stars.
It's a major blow for Jaguar, especially as the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class both have five-star ratings.
Jaguar has defended its car. A spokesperson told us that "Jaguar's testing shows that the XF provides a high level of protection in real world accident scenarios."
It is true that real world safety goes beyond the controlled crash tests of the Euro NCAP tests, although the fact remains that Jaguar's car has fared worse than lots of other, often much smaller, cars. A five-star award is becoming increasingly common.
According to Euro NCAP, the XF was scored down because 'in the side pole impact...chest protection was rated as weak and the car's seat and head restraint provided marginal whiplash protection."
Despite playing down the significance of the result, Jaguar says it will look to incorporate changes to improve the rating. With the XF due a facelift in 2012, don't be surprised to see it happen then.