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ANCAP praises Volvo V40 safety tech

Inflated rating: The Volvo V40’s innovative pedestrian airbag and high occupant protection score helped it sail to a five-star ANCAP safety rating despite this year’s tougher test.

Maximum five-star ANCAP rating for Subaru Forester, Opel Corsa and Volvo V40

General News logo18 Jan 2013

THE first three cars to be rated for crash-test performance by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) in 2013 have all been awarded the maximum five stars by ANCAP despite moved goalposts this year.

A new mandatory minimum of what ANCAP calls safety assist technologies (SAT) did not stop the Opel Corsa light car, Subaru Forester compact SUV and Volvo V40 premium hatchback receiving a top score.

ANCAP chief executive Nicholas Clarke singled out the Volvo for high praise due to the “long list of SAT” such as the world’s first pedestrian-protecting frontal airbag and autonomous emergency braking system that can detect pedestrians and other hazards.

The innovative pedestrian airbag helped place the V40 in a small group of vehicles rated ‘good’ for pedestrian protection.

Occupant protection was also a V40 strong suit, scoring 15.67 out of 16 in the frontal offset test and a maximum 16 points in the side impact test, contributing to a second best-ever overall score of 36.67 out of 37 (the Mercedes-Benz B-Class attained 36.78).

80 center imageFrom top: Volvo V40 and Opel Corsa during Euro NCAP testing.

Compared with the B-Class, which scored 15.78 in the frontal offset crash test and was found to offer ‘good’ injury protection in all areas bar for an ‘acceptable’ risk to the passenger’s left lower leg, the V40 was deemed ‘good’ for fewer areas.

Deemed ‘acceptable’ in the Volvo were the driver’s chest and right lower leg, plus, like the Mercedes, the passenger’s left lower leg.

During the impact, the V40’s accelerator pedal moved 19mm rearward, the brake pedal 15mm upward and the steering wheel 52mm forward, 4mm downward and 3mm sideways, while the A-pillar moved 1mm rearwards.

No knee hazards were detected and following the test, all doors remained closed, with ‘normal’ effort required to open them.

A maximum two points were awarded to the V40 for the pole test, while whiplash protection was deemed ‘acceptable’.

Subaru’s fourth-generation Forester also scored highly when tested by ANCAP (the authority calculated the Volvo and Opel results from those recorded by Euro NCAP).

An overall score of 35.64 was made up of a perfect 16 for side impact, the full two points in the pole test, ‘good’ whiplash protection, ‘acceptable’ pedestrian safety and three out of three for its ‘advanced’ seatbelt reminders.

Occupant protection in the frontal offset test was rated 14.64 out of 16, with ‘good’ head, upper leg and foot protection but ‘acceptable’ protection for the chest, driver’s lower legs and the passenger’s right lower leg.

The Forester’s accelerator pedal moved 43mm rearwards and 36mm upwards in the crash, while the steering wheel moved 48mm forward, 6mm down and 23mm to the side and the A-pillar moved 4mm rearward.

No knee hazards were found, all doors remained closed and could be opened with ‘normal’ effort afterwards.

Last but not least, the smallest car of the trio, the Opel Corsa, achieved 33.72 out of 37 overall, with ‘acceptable’ whiplash and pedestrian protection, one out of three for seatbelt reminders and a respectable 14.72 out of 16 in the frontal offset crash test.

Like the V40 and Forester, the Corsa was awarded top points for the side impact and pole tests.

Frontal offset results for the Corsa revealed ‘acceptable’ protection for the driver’s head and chest – the airbag bottomed out during the test – while all other areas were deemed to provide ‘good’ injury protection.

In the cabin, only the clutch pedal moved, shifting 16mm rearwards and 21mm down, and all doors remained closed during the test – but no mention was made of whether or not they were easy to open afterwards.

The five-star ANCAP safety rating applies to the three-door Corsa as the five-door remains unrated.

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