NRMA Motoring & Services/ANCAP
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program’s (ANCAP) has announced that two more vehicles costing less than $30,000 have received a five-star crash test rating. NRMA Motoring Research Manager Jack Haley said the trend towards vehicles offering more protection continues and ANCAP was now working cooperatively with some manufacturers to assist in the development of improved vehicles.
“The Lancer result is a good outcome for Mitsubishi and we congratulate them on the vehicle – it scored well in the three crash tests conducted and it was pleasing to see the high-spec model with side curtain airbags which protect the head,” Mr Haley said.
“However, ANCAP would like to see manufacturers fit curtain airbags and ESC as standard equipment to all models, bringing these valuable safety features to a wider range of customers.”
ANCAP crash test new cars and awards them a star rating for occupant protection based on internationally recognised protocols. The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer rated highly for occupant protection following a series of crash tests – a frontal offset, a side and a pole test. The model tested was the top-spec model, which includes head-protecting side air bags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), both prerequisites for a five-star rating under ANCAP’s rating methodology. The lower-spec Lancer scored four stars.
The Hyundai i30, which also includes side curtains and ESC, achieved five stars after a recent modification improved the vehicle’s knee impact area, which ANCAP had raised as an issue. The New Zealand i30 will receive the same upgrade. Similarly to the Lancer, the lower spec i30 scores four stars.
ANCAP also announced five-star results from comparative test results under the European program, EuroNCAP, for the Renault Laguna III and Holden Astra – both with side curtains and ESC – and four-star results for the Kia Rondo with side curtains, and base-model Ford Focus with chest-protecting side airbags.
Dr Soames Job from the NSW Centre for Road Safety said the rating of the Mitsubishi Lancer and the Hyundai i30 confirmed the trend towards smaller vehicles offering more protection, making safety a genuine option for new car buyers in this price range.
“What we are now seeing is the provision of the latest vehicle safety features in cars below $30,000 – which is great news for consumers,” Dr Job said.
Unfortunately, pedestrians do not fare well in the latest round of results. The Lancer, i30, Laguna and Focus earned two stars out of four for pedestrian protection and the Rondo and Astra earning one star.
Recent discussions between ANCAP and several manufacturers indicate that improved car front designs are on the way.
ANCAP crash tests new vehicles, awards them a star rating for safety and publicises the results to the motoring public. ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, Australian state governments, the New Zealand government, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, the Insurance Australia Group and the FIA Foundation.