The Sintra was overwhelmed in the frontal impact: the steering wheel and the deployed airbag broke off its column and the driver faced a real threat of fatal neck injury because his head was forced back and upwards. Opel has says it has now taken steps to prevent the wheel from snapping off, but the changes have not been tested by Euro NCAP. The car was awarded three stars, mostly for its performance in the side impact, but the final star has been struck through to indicate NCAP's fears over the chance of a fatal injury. Opel has announced that the Sintra is being withdrawn from sale, but this news came after Euro NCAP had tested the car; in any case, new examples will continue to sell for some time. Finally, its child restraints performed well in the front impact but poorly in the side impact.
The impact made the cabin structure unstable and the amount of low-level intrusion meant the driver ran a high risk of feet and lower leg injuries. The footwell ruptured badly where the driver's feet would lie. There were also areas around the steering column that could cause problems but the driver's knees were protected from hitting sharp objects by a polystyrene block under the column shroud.
Apart from a minor risk of chest injury, the Sintra protected its driver well. The Sintra is unusual among its rivals in that it has seat-mounted side airbags fitted as standard equipment.
There was only one warning pictogram, at the end of the passenger-side facia, to alert parents to the dangers of placing a rear-facing restraint on the front seat. In trials, this sticker was shown to be poorly understood and widely misinterpreted. Euro NCAP believes Opel should take more seriously the threat of death were such a warning to go unheeded. Opel restraints are modular and can be fitted in different combinations depending on the size of the child and the fixing method. However the labels explaining their use are inadequate: they need more work.
The Sintra offers little in the way of protection: hence its one-star rating. Its bonnet and bumper do little to cushion an impact involving a pedestrian. Like others here, its windscreen is more 'forgiving' than its bonnet.