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ANCAP: Mitsubishi Triton comes up trumps

On a bender: Mitsubishi’s new Triton will carry a five-star rating when it goes on sale in a few weeks.

Mitsubishi’s Triton lifts its game on safety in all-new model due this month

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General News logo16 Apr 2015

MITSUBISHI’S all-new Triton has smashed its way to a five-star safety rating in the latest round of Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) crash safety tests.

The performance elevates Mitsubishi’s top-selling vehicle in Australia from a current four-star rating to five stars for the new model due in showrooms this month, joining the likes of Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 at the head of the one-tonne ute safety pack.

But the news was not so good for BMW whose 2 Series Active Tourer and Mini Cooper both were awarded four stars under the latest rankings by the Australian independent safety organisation.

Confusingly, another BMW, the electric i3, was awarded five stars by ANCAP, even though it received only four stars in the European NCAP ratings.

And the 2 Series Active Tourer – BMW’s first front-wheel drive model – was awarded four stars in Australia when it got five in Europe, even though ANCAP used the same crash test data from Europe.

In other ANCAP announcements overnight, the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Renault Captur and Tesla Model S all secured the maximum five-star rating.

ANCAP chose to highlight the performance of the new Triton that is set to land in Australian showrooms later this month.

ANCAP chief executive Nicholas Clarke said light-commercial vehicles continued to lag passenger vehicles on safety, with only 57 per cent of LCVs holding the maximum five-star rating.

“This five-star rating for the high-selling Triton is a great achievement as this will translate to increased safety on worksites and on our roads,” he said.

The five-star rating applies to all Triton variants, including all cab styles, thanks to inclusion of items such as head-protecting side airbags, seat-belt warning for all seating positions and other safety features.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri said the new Triton was designed to meet the highest safety standards.

“Triton has built a long-standing reputation as an honest, reliable and durable light-commercial vehicle in Australia, and the fifth-generation Triton takes this to a new level,” he said.

Of the six vehicles in the latest set of ANCAP announcements, the Thai-built Mitsubishi ute was the only one crash-tested in Australia for ANCAP, at Sydney’ s Crashlab.

All the others depended on crash tests done for Euro NCAP, mostly last year. Under this system, ANCAP takes the data and applies its own set of criteria.

For example, while the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer’s frontal offset crash performance of 11.3 points out of a possible 16 was fine for Europe in 2014, it fell short of ANCAP’s minimum 12.5 points for five-star rating.

BMW Australia is less than thrilled with the way the Australian criteria turns up different results to the European system.

The company’s corporate communications general manager Lenore Fletcher said BMW was puzzled how one model could be elevated from four stars in Europe to five stars in Australia while another model was downgraded from five stars to four.

“From a manufacturer’s viewpoint, the difference in criteria and changes of timing on these criteria is confusing,” she said. “If it is confusing for manufacturers, it must be confusing for consumers.”

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