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ANCAP salutes VW Up for standard auto braking

Safety standard: Volkswagen’s inclusion of autonomous emergency braking in the $14K Up city car has won plaudits from vehicle safety watchdog ANCAP.

Five ANCAP stars for Opel’s Astra, GTC and Insignia plus praise for VW Up safety kit

General News logo5 Oct 2012

VOLKSWAGEN’S Up city car, which hits Australian showrooms this weekend, has become the first in its segment to be awarded a maximum five stars for crash safety by the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP).

Opel’s Astra small car and GTC coupe derivative plus the Insignia mid-size sedan and wagon were also given five starsANCAP is also expected to publish results for the Corsa light car – which scored five stars in Europe – in coming weeks.

Priced from $13,990 plus on-road costs, the Up has become Australia’s least expensive five-star vehicle and was commended by ANCAP for the standard inclusion of an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system, which works between 5km/h and 30km/h.

Few vehicles come with such technology as standard, and none as affordable as the Up.

ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said he found it “hard to fathom” why many manufacturers prioritised the inclusion of standard features like alloy wheels and leather seats over safety equipment.

80 center imageFrom top: Opel Insignia Opel Astra GTC and Astra hatch.



“The move by Volkswagen to include AEB in the Up as standard across all variants is a welcome change.

"The standard fitment of safety features and safety technologies is something ANCAP has been advocating for some time and all manufacturers should follow Volkswagen's lead."ANCAP used data from Euro NCAP to rate the Up, Astra and Insignia.

The Up scored 33.37 out of 37 for adult occupant protection, with 14.2 out of 16 for the frontal offset crash test, in which the driver’s chest and lower legs were subject to an ‘acceptable’ risk of serious injury.

Its passenger compartment was found to hold its shape, while the accelerator pedal moved rearwards by 37mm, the clutch pedal moved upwards 28mm and the steering wheel hub moved 42mm forwards, 27mm down and 8mm to the side.

No knee hazards were found and all doors remained closed during the impact, after which the driver’s door could be opened with ‘normal’ effort.

In the side impact test the Up was rated 14.17 out of 16, with ‘good’ head protection and ‘acceptable’ risk of serious thorax injury, while whiplash protection was deemed ‘good’ and due to the standard inclusion of side head/thorax airbags, earned the maximum two bonus points in the pole test.

Overall pedestrian protection was deemed ‘marginal’ with 16.6 points out of 36, as the Up scored zero points for upper leg impacts, provided poor protection for child head impacts and offered variable amounts of protection for areas that could be struck by an adult’s head.

The standard fitment of AEB had no bearing on the Up’s safety rating, but ANCAP is considering making the technology a mandatory requirement and from 2014 Euro NCAP will include the system in its star ratings to encourage more manufacturers to make it standard equipment.

Opel’s Astra scored 35.02 out of 37 for occupant protection and was rated 15.06 out of 16 in the offset crash test, where it posed an ‘acceptable’ risk of serious injury to the driver’s chest and lower leg.

Its passenger compartment held its shape and all doors remained closed, with the driver’s door requiring ‘normal’ effort to open it after the impact.

The pedals moved no more than 3mm while the steering wheel hub moved 55mm forward, 20mm down and 2mm to the side and the A-pillar moved 2mm rearwards. No knee hazards were detected.

In a near-perfect 15.96 out of 16 for the side impact test, the risk of serious chest and abdomen injury for the driver was ‘acceptable’, while two points were earned in the pole test.

Like the Up, pedestrian protection from the Astra was ‘marginal’ with zero points scored for adult head and upper leg impacts, resulting in an overall score of 16.43 out of 36.

The sportier Astra GTC was scored lower for occupant protection at 33.35 out of 37 with 15.07 out of 16 in the frontal offset test an almost identical score to the standard hatch and wagon.

Like the hatch and wagon, the GTC’s passenger compartment maintained its shape and all doors remained closed, with the driver’s door requiring ‘normal’ effort to open it after the impact.

Its clutch pedal moved 18mm rearwards and 7mm upwards, while the steering wheel moved 41mm frwards, 13mm downward and 2mm sideways. No knee hazards were detected.

Side impact protection was deemed lower in the GTC – which is wider than the hatch and wagon – with a score of 14.29 out of 16 due to ‘marginal’ protection of the driver’s chest.

The GTC is a preferable car to be run over by than its more staid stablemates though, with a pedestrian protection score of 18 out of 36 due to better child’s head impact performance but adult head and upper leg scores were still zero.

Opel’s Insignia got 35,16 out of 37 for occupant protection, with 15.16 out of 16 for the offset crash test, which found a ‘marginal’ risk of serious chest injury for the driver and passenger, while it got a perfect 16 out of 16 for side impacts and two bonus points in the pole test.

After the impact the brake pedal was found to have moved 93mm rearward and up 26mm, the steering wheel hub moved 32mm forward, 6mm downward and 2mm sideways and the A-pillar moved 4mm rearwards.

Steering column components were found to be a potential source of injury for the driver’s knees and the passenger’s knees hit the glovebox and dashboard.

All doors remained closed during the test but the driver’s door required ‘high’ manual effort to open.

It was another ‘marginal’ score for pedestrian protection, with 14.28 out of 36 and zero points for upper leg impacts but a maximum score for lower leg impacts, while most of the bonnet was found to offer poor protection.

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