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Ford  Still the one: Despite a large percentage increase in costs, the new model Falcon is the  cheapest to repair in the large car segment.

Still the one: Despite a large percentage increase in costs, the new model Falcon is the cheapest to repair in the large car segment.

Latest crash test costing reveals the new Falcon is more expensive to repair

THE new BA Ford Falcon is 28 per cent more expensive to repair in a low-speed crash than the previous AUII, according to figures released this week.

But the Falcon was so inexpensive to repair that, in spite of such a large increase in cost of repairs of the new model, it remains the second cheapest to repair of all cars tested in the survey and the cheapest in the large car segment.

In the RACV/NRMA survey, a large pendulum is swung into the front of each car to simulate a crash of 15km/h into a solid barrier or 30km/h into a parked car.

The repair cost is estimated by experienced insurance assessors based on repair times, parts and labour costs. The survey is designed to help motorists choose cars that will attract lower insurance premiums. It is not a safety survey.

The survey measures the actual repair cost and also rates the repair cost as a percentage of the total cost of the car.

The assessors estimated the BA Falcon repairs would cost $2948 - the second lowest of any car. The figure represents just 8.5 per cent of the Falcon purchase price - the lowest percentage figure of any car in the survey.

The VY Holden Commodore took a leap in repair cost over its predecessor, gaining 10 per cent to $3313 - 9.8 per cent of the purchase price.

The cheapest car overall was the Daewoo Tacuma at $2814, followed by the Falcon at $2948, the Hyundai Accent at $2969, Mazda6 at $3013 and Mitsubishi Magna at $3046.

The Mazda6 recorded the best improvement. It was 36 per cent cheaper to repair than the Mazda 626 it replaced. The new Subaru Forester ($3557) was 27 per cent cheaper to repair than the old model.

The most expensive car to repair was the latest Honda CRV at $7409 - a 22 per cent leap over its predecessor. That makes the Honda about $4400 more expensive to repair than the Falcon for the same accident.

Other big bills were racked up by the Renault Scenic at $7342, Toyota RAV4 ($7300) and Hyundai Trajet ($7276).

The most expensive car to repair in terms of its purchase price is the Ford Ka2. The pendulum inflicted damage worth $5700 to the Ka, which accounts for a whopping 35.6 per cent of the purchase price.

Small cars fair particularly badly when measured against their purchase price because they are the cheapest cars to buy but quite expensive to repair.

As a group, small cars average 27.3 per cent of purchase price to repair compared with large cars like Falcon and Commodore that cost an average of just 9.8 per cent of purchase price to repair.

Winners and losers

(as a percentage of purchase price):

Large:
Best: Ford Falcon 8.5% ($2948)
Worst: Toyota Avalon 12.7% ($4304)

Medium:
Best: Mazda6 8.9% ($3013)
Worst: Holden Vectra 16.9% ($4903)

Small-medium:
Best: Subaru Impreza 10% ($4207)
Worst: Nissan Pulsar 31.1% ($6378)

Small:
Best: Holden Barina 18.7% ($3273)
Worst: Ford Ka2 35.6% ($5700)

People-movers:
Best: Daewoo Tacuma 10.4% ($2814)
Worst: Renault Scenic 23% ($7342)

Small 4WDs:
Best: Subaru Outback 9.5% ($3830)
Worst: Daihatsu Terios 27.1% ($5090)

* Airbags not included

It is important to note that the survey does not take into account if an airbag deploys during the test.

Twin airbags can add between $2000 and $5000 to the cost of repairing a car. Apart from the cost on new airbags, deployment in most cases damages the steering wheel boss and the fascia, and can break the windscreen as well.

RACV chief engineers vehicles Michael Case said airbag deployment was not accounted for because the organisation did not want to penalise car-makers for providing additional airbags nor encourage them to delete airbags in order to get a better insurance rating.

He said some airbags in imported cars had deployed during the low-speed test. Airbags in imported cars are set to go off at lower speeds than Australian-made cars because they are designed for markets where seatbelt wearing is optional.

In Australia, the bags deploy in higher-speed crashes where seatbelts are losing their effectiveness because of the higher impact on drivers and passengers.

2002 Low Speed Crash Test Results


VehicleRepair Cost % of Purchase PriceTotal
Small 4WDsSubaru Outback 2.5L 4-dr automatic wagon 9.53%$3830
Subaru Forester XS 2.5L 4-dr automatic wagon9.75%$3557
Mitsubishi Pajero iO 2.0L 4-dr manual wagon11.05%$3315
Suzuki Grand Vitara Sports 2.5L 4-dr automatic wagon11.89%$3912
Nissan X-Trail ST 2.5L 4-dr manual wagon18.93%$6057
Honda CR-V Sports 2.4L 4-dr automatic wagon19.25%$7409
Kia Sportage 2.0L 4-dr manual wagon20.67%$5164
Toyota RAV4 Edge 2.0L 4-dr manual wagon22.71%$7300
Daihatsu Terios DX 1.3L 4-dr manual wagon27.09%$5090
Average 16.76%Average $5070
People-moversDaewoo Tacuma 2.0L 5-dr automatic wagon10.42%$2814
Toyota Avensis Verso GLX 2.0L 4-dr automatic wagon12.66%$5306
Kia Carnival LS 2.5L 4-dr automatic wagon13.43%$4700
Holden Zafira 2.2L 4-dr automatic wagon14.06%$4779
Hyundai Trajet GLS 2.7L 4-dr automatic wagon17.80%$7276
Mazda Premacy 2.0L 5-dr automatic hatch20.83% $6366
Renault Scenic Dynamique 2.0L 5-dr automatic wagon22.95%$7342
Average 16.02%Average $5512
SmallHolden Barina 1.4L 3-dr manual hatch18.74%$3273
Hyundai Accent GL 1.5L 3-dr manual hatch20.21%$2969
Toyota Echo 1.3L 3-dr manual hatch24.05%$4182
Mitsubishi Mirage 1.5L 3-dr manual hatch27.65%$4892
Daewoo Lanos SE 1.5L 3-dr manual hatch28.57%$3997
Kia Rio 1.5L 5-dr manual hatch29.19%$4668
Mazda 121 Metro Shades 1.5L 5-dr manual hatch29.22%$5621
Daewoo Matiz 0.8L 5-dr manual hatch29.35%$3739
Daihatsu Sirion 1.0L 5-dr manual hatch30.18%$4383
Ford Ka2 1.3L 3-dr manual hatch35.65%$5700
Average 27.28%Average $4342
Small-mediumSubaru Impreza - WRX 2.0L Turbo 5-dr manual hatch10.03%$4207
Subaru Impreza RS 2.5L 4-dr manual sedan10.92%$3604
Peugeot 307 XS 1.6L 5-dr manual hatch15.62%$4059
Toyota Corolla Seca Ascent 1.8L 5-dr manual hatch20.67%$4471
Hyundai Elantra GL 1.8L 5-dr automatic hatch21.04%$4245
Holden Astra City 1.8L 5-dr manual hatch21.88%$4894
Honda Civic Vi 1.7L 5-dr automatic hatch22.49%$6286
Mitsubishi Lancer GLi 1.5L 2-dr manual coupe24.43%$4639
Nissan Pulsar ST 1.8L 5-dr manual hatch25.20%$5541
Mazda 323 Astina 1.8L 5-dr manual hatch30.45%$6088
Nissan Pulsar LX 1.6L 4-dr manual sedan31.13%$6378
Average 21.26%Average $4946
MediumMazda 6 Classic 2.3L 4-dr automatic sedan8.92%$3013
Subaru Liberty RX 2.5L 4-dr automatic sedan9.89%$3848
Toyota Camry Altise 2.4L 4-dr automatic sedan13.55%$3860
Holden Vectra GL 2.2L 4-dr automatic sedan16.87%$4903
Average 12.31%Average $3906
LargeFord Falcon XT 4.0L 4-dr automatic sedan8.53%$2948
Honda Accord V6-L 3.0L 4-dr automatic sedan8.93%$4385
Mitsubishi Magna Executive 3.5L 4-dr automatic sedan9.23%$3046
Holden Commodore Executive 3.8L 4-dr automatic sedan9.77%$3313
Toyota Avalon Conquest 3.0L 4-dr automatic sedan12.74%$4304
Average 9.84% Average $3599
* Prices as at 31 October 2002 as quoted by manufacturers or distributors. All prices include air-conditioning and power steering where available.
* Air-conditioning has been regarded as standard equipment on some vehicles which have had extended marketing deals.
* Prices include 10% GST.






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