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NCAP: Laguna leader in safety

Good and bad: BMW's 3 Series earned a four-star front and side impact rating, but could only manage one star for the pedestrian test.

Latest European and local NCAP results show vehicle safety is improving

28 Nov 2001

THE Renault Laguna remains the only car to have achieved a five-star rating in the Euro New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), following the release of the latest round of crash test results.

While the crashworthiness of the eight family cars, two small family cars, one small MPV and one super-mini tested ranged from average to good, the results proved the Laguna is still unmatched for high levels of occupant protection.

"The Renault Laguna remains the only five-star Euro NCAP car but I am confident that manufacturers who take the safety of their customers seriously will rise to Euro NCAP's five-star challenge in the future," Euro NCAP chairman and FIA president Max Mosley said.

When Euro NCAP first conducted testing of family cars in 1997, only one of the 13 models tested achieved a four-star rating.

In contrast, the current score sheet shows that of the 19 family cars tested, one has achieved five stars and 12 have achieved four stars, which Mr Mosley believes is "evidence that Euro NCAP's goal of creating a market for safety is being achieved".

Despite the overall safety improvement, the Hyundai Elantra and Alfa Romeo 147 both performed poorly in the frontal occupant test, with the 147 recording a score of just 20 per cent, one of the worst recorded in Euro NCAP.

Honda continues to lead the way in pedestrian protection with the Civic-based Stream mini MPV achieving a three-star rating.

The performance of other manufacturers in the pedestrian test remained poor, with the BMW 3 Series only recording a one-star rating, which was considered by Euro NCAP to be very disappointing for a recent vehicle design.

Future Euro NCAP crash test projects will assess four-wheel drives and two-seater sports cars, as well as keeping up to date with the arrival of new cars in the existing groups.


Family Car
Citroen C5 - 4 stars* / 2 stars** (88%)
Volvo S60 - 4 stars* / 2 stars** (82%)
Ford Mondeo - 4 stars* / 2 stars** (79%)
Skoda Octavia - 4 stars* / 2 stars** (74%)
BMW 3 Series - 4 stars* / 1 star** (74%)
Opel (Holden) Vectra - 3 stars* / 2 stars** (71%)
Hyundai Elantra - 3 stars* / 2 stars** (59%)
Peugeot 406 - 3 stars* / 2 stars** (53%) Small Family Car
Peugeot 307 - 4 stars* / 2 stars** (88%)
Alfa Romeo 147 - 3 stars* / 2 stars** (62%) Small MPV
Honda Stream - 4 stars* / 3 stars** (76%) Superminis
Rover 25 - 3 stars* / 2 stars** (50%) *Combined Offset Front and Side Impact Rating
**Pedestrian Impact Rating
Percentage in brackets represents Overall Rating
  • ON the local front, the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) issued its latest crash test results for a group of 18 small cars, showing them to be just as safe as many large cars.

    Ten of the 18 cars involved achieved a four-star rating, which ranks them higher than all five of Australia's popular large cars.

    The Holden Commodore, Mitsubishi Magna, Toyota Avalon and Camry, and Ford Falcon all recorded ratings in the low to high three-star range when tested earlier this year.

    Meanwhile, the Toyota Echo, Mercedes-Benz A-class, Holden Barina, Subaru Impreza, Honda Civic, Volkswagen New Beetle and Golf, Peugeot 206, Holden Astra and Audi A3 all scored in the low to mid four-star range in the latest batch of vehicle safety tests.

    The South Korean manufactured Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio models performed creditably, earning three-star ratings, while the volume-selling Ford Laser/Mazda 323 twins and the Nissan Pulsar were well down the order, as was Peugeot's 306 hatchback.

    Daewoo's Nubira and Lanos models performed poorly with the Lanos awarded only one star and an overall percentage rating barely exceeding a quarter of the top ranked Echo's.

    Ten of the small cars were evaluated in Australia while Euro NCAP conducted tests on the remaining eight cars on ANCAP's behalf, using identical test procedures and evaluations.

    In response to the latest ANCAP results, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) issued its standard rebuttal of the findings in a continuing effort to refute the validity of the ANCAP ratings.

    FCAI chief executive Peter Sturrock said that improvements in occupant protection offered by new vehicles were not the result of programs such as ANCAP, rather they were the result of on-going product developments by the vehicle manufacturers.


    Small Cars
    Toyota Echo - 4 stars** / 2 stars** (89%)
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class - 4 stars* / no result** (85%)
    Holden Barina - 4 stars* / 1 star** (82%)
    Subaru Impreza - 4 stars* / 2 stars** (81%)
    Honda Civic - 4 stars* / 3 stars** (79%)
    Volkswagen New Beetle - 4 stars* / 2 stars** (78%)
    Peugeot 206 - 4 stars* / 2 stars** (78%)
    Holden Astra - 4 stars* / 1 star** (78%)
    Volkswagen Golf - 4 stars* / 2 stars** (77%)
    Audi A3 - 4 stars* / 2 stars** (72%)
    Daihatsu Sirion - 3 stars* / 2 stars** (71%)
    Hyundai Accent - 3 stars* / 2 stars** (68%)
    Kia Rio - 3 stars* / 2 stars** (56%)
    Peugeot 306 - 3 stars* / 1 star** (55.5%)
    Mazda 323/Ford Laser - 3 stars* / 3 stars** (54%)
    Nissan Pulsar - 2 stars* / 3 stars** (47%)
    Daewoo Nubira - 2 stars* / 2 stars** (41%)
    Daewoo Lanos - 1 star* / 2 stars** (22.8%) Results in green represent cars tested by Euro NCAP
    *Combined Offset Front and Side Impact Rating
    **Pedestrian Impact Rating
    Percentage in brackets represents Overall Rating

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