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ANCAP: Kia Picanto scores four stars

Integrity: The Picanto might be Kia’s smallest model, but it handled the brutal frontal offset crash well.

Child, pedestrian protection trip up new Kia Picanto in quest for top safety rating


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6 Sep 2017

KIA’S latest Picanto light hatchback has been given a four-star safety rating – one star fewer than the previous model – by the independent Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) using the latest round of crash test data from Europe.

While the previous-generation Picanto just squeaked through for a five-star rating in local audit testing by ANCAP at Sydney’s Crashlab last year, the new car just missed out on a five-star gong when it fell short on child occupant protection and pedestrian protection.

The European testing – done on behalf of Euro NCAP at Italy’s CSI crash test facility earlier this year – found that the Picanto scored 64 per cent on child occupant protection, short of the 75 per cent pass rate.

On pedestrian protection, the Picanto was given a 54 per cent rating, below the 60 per cent required for a pass.

The overall four-star rating applies to the new Picanto launched in Australia in June this year and in New Zealand in May.

Despite the glitch, ANCAP chief executive officer James Goodwin was complimentary about the Picanto’s performance and high levels of crash protection technology, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB).

“It is very encouraging to see an affordable, small car offering AEB City and AEB Interurban as standard, and Kia should be congratulated for taking this initiative,” he said.

Kia Motors Australia general manager media and corporate relations Kevin Hepworth told GoAuto that Kia was pleased that ANCAP had acknowledged the company’s commitment to safety through the inclusion of AEB on Picanto as a segment leader.

“It was also noted that the four-star rating has been determined by factors other than any structural shortcomings,” he said.

ANCAP was moved to re-test the previous-generation Picanto last year after Malaysian NCAP testing of a Picanto-based Kia Morning scored zero stars and the ASEAN test regime.

However, the audit test reaffirmed the Australian-spec Picanto’s five star rating – just.

Also on the latest test results, Mazda’s new CX-5 and Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class convertible both sailed through the European test regime and were subsequently given ANCAP’s five-star blessing too.

ANCAP said the CX-5 – launched in Australia in April – performed well in physical tests and was fitted with a good list of safety features, including AEB in all three levels – city, interurban and pedestrian.

“As the highest selling unrated model in Australia and New Zealand so far this year, this provides yet another safe option for SUV buyers,” Mr Goodwin said.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet – introduced in Australia and New Zealand in October 2016 – also received a five-star score, but it was not without blemishes.

“The C-Class convertible is a well-equipped model and offers AEB City and AEB Interurban as standard,” Mr Goodwin said. “However, in the side impact test, the head of the 10-year-old child dummy contacted the metal frame of the roof, and points were deducted from its child occupant protection score.”

The Mercedes rating applies only to two-wheel-drive C200 and C300 variants.

Other variants are yet to be rated.

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