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Low speed crashes can mean high cost repairs

Hip-pocket hit: The new Renault Scenic was the most expensive people-mover to repair, according to NRMA/RACV testing.

Ford stars with the Falcon in slow speed crash tests, but not everyone has a good result

13 Dec 2001

THE latest results from this year's NRMA and RACV low speed crash test program shows some cars cost up to one third of their retail price to repair following a minor collision.

More than 40 top selling Australian cars were subjected to a pendulum crash test, replicating a 15km/h collision with a solid barrier or a 30km/h collision into the rear of another vehicle.

RACV chief engineer Michael Case said that as people-movers were becoming increasingly popular, they had been included for the first time.

"We tested six people-movers priced under $40,000," he said.

"The cheapest to repair was the Daewoo Tacuma with a bill of under $3000. At the other end of the scale, the Renault Scenic repairs were more than $7500 or 25.2 per cent of the purchase price." The aim of the low speed crash test program is to encourage manufacturers to improve vehicle design and keep the cost of collision repairs affordable.

"While design enhancements may largely go unnoticed by vehicle owners, they can have a sizeable impact on the cost of insurance. Design improvements by car manufacturers are helping to reduce collision costs in some makes and models, however there is still a need for improvement," Mr Case said.

"While the small car class continues to be the most expensive to repair, one of the big improvers on last year's results is the Holden Barina which has reduced its repair cost by almost 40 per cent compared to the previous model.

"However it is disappointing to see the Ford Ka2 add 13 per cent to its total repair bill, especially since it was one of the most expensive to repair when first tested last year.

"The Ford Falcon Forte has the lowest repair cost in the program and continues to lead the large car class. With the exception of the Toyota Avalon, locally produced large cars have traditionally led the way by having low repair costs.

"In the 4WD group, the cost of repairing a Daihatsu Terios has increased by 25 per cent since last year's report." Mr Case said collision repair cost was one of the main factors used by RACV Insurance to help individually rate premiums.

"Without proper consideration at the design stage, it is the car owner who ultimately pays through escalating repair costs and premiums. We are working with a number of car manufacturers to reduce repair costs for future models," he said.

"Motorists should consider the cost of repairing a vehicle before they make their purchase as a bargain in the showroom may not be such a good deal when taking the cost of insurance and repairs into account." 2001 Low Speed Crash Test Results
Small 4WDS
Vehicle and Repair Cost in %
Subaru Outback 2.5L 4 Door Automatic Wagon 9.5%
Mitsubishi Pajero iO 1.8L 4 Door Manual Wagon 11.3%
Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.5L 4 Door Automatic Wagon 11.7%
Honda HR-V 1.6L 3 Door Manual Wagon 13.3%
Subaru Forester 2.0L 5 Door Manual Wagon 16.5%
Honda CR-V 2.0L 4 Door Manual Wagon 19.0%
Kia Sportage 2.0L 4 Door Manual Wagon 20.0%
Daihatsu Terios DX 1.3L 4 Door Manual Wagon 31.3% People-movers
Daewoo Tacuma 2.0L 5 Door Automatic Wagon 10.1%
Kia Carnival 2.5L 4 Door Automatic Wagon 13.2%
Holden Zafira 2.2L 4 Door Automatic Wagon 14.1%
Hyundai Trajet GLS 2.7L 4 Door Automatic Wagon 18.3%
Mazda Premacy 1.8L 5 Door Automatic Hatch 21.3%
Renault Scenic Dynamique 2.0L 5 Door Automatic Wagon 25.2% Small
Hyundai Accent GL 1.5L 3 Door Manual Hatch 18.6%
Holden Barina 1.4L 3 Door Manual Hatch 19.9%
Toyota Echo 1.3L 3 Door Manual Hatch 24.1%
Mitsubishi Mirage 1.5L 3 Door Manual Hatch 25.2%
Daewoo Lanos SE 1.5L 3 Door Manual Hatch 27.8%
Daewoo Matiz 0.8L 5 Door Manual Hatch 28.5%
Mazda 121 Metro Shades 1.5L 5 Door Manual Hatch 29.0%
Kia Rio 1.5L 5 Door Manual Hatch 30.8%
Daihatsu Sirion 1.0L 5 Door Manual Hatch 31.1%
Ford Ka2 1.3L 3 Door Manual Hatch 33.4% Small - Medium
Subaru Impreza - WRX 2.0L Turbo 5 Door Manual Hatch 10.0%
Subaru Impreza RX 2.0L 5 Door Manual Hatch 11.6%
Honda Civic Vi 1.7L 5 Door Automatic Hatch 21.4%
Holden Astra City 1.8L 5 Door Manual Hatch 22.8%
Mitsubishi Lancer GLi 1.5L 2 Door Manual Coupe 22.9%
Toyota Corolla Seca Ascent 1.8L 5 Door Manual Liftback 24.0%
Nissan Pulsar ST 1.8L 5 Door Manual Hatch 25.4%
Nissan Pulsar LX 1.6L 4 Door Manual Sedan 30.4%
Mazda 323 Astina Shades 1.6L 5 Door Manual Hatch 30.6% Medium
Subaru Liberty RX 2.5L 4 Door Automatic Sedan 9.9%
Toyota Camry CSi 2.2L 4 Door Automatic Sedan 11.7%
Mazda 626 Classic 2.0L 4 Door Automatic Sedan 15.1%
Vectra GL 2.2L 4 Door Automatic Sedan 17.2% Large
Ford Falcon Forte 4.0L 4 Door Automatic Sedan 7.2%
Honda Accord V6 3.0L 4 Door Automatic Sedan 9.1%
Holden Commodore Executive 3.8L 4 Door Automatic Sedan 9.2%
Mitsubishi Magna Executive 3.5L 4 Door Automatic Sedan 9.5%
Toyota Avalon Conquest 3.0L 4 Door Automatic Sedan 12.8%

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