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Citroen misses out on five stars for C5 Aircross

Four stars for Citroen C5 Aircross after coming up short on cyclist anti-crash safety

4 Sep 2019

CITROEN’S new C5 Aircross mid-size SUV has tripped up on tough new Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) rules that mark down a vehicle’s safety rating for not having a cyclist anti-collision detection system.


Even though most five-star-rated vehicles on Australian roads do not have such a system that applies the brakes when a cyclist is detected on a collision course with the vehicle, it is now part of the mandatory test procedure from the independent safety watchdog.


The C5 Aircross ended up with four stars. By contrast, sister company Peugeot’s newer 508 large sedan – to be launched in Australia next week – has such a cyclist detection system and sailed through the latest round of tests with five stars.


Other cars to win five-star stamps include the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and CLA-Class, and the upgraded Ford Focus.


A spokesman for Peugeot and Citroen importer Inchcape said the cyclist detection system was available in Australia for the newer 508 but not for the C5 Aircross that has been on overseas markets for up to 18 months.


“This is a new technology that is only just being rolled out,” he said. “If it was available to us on Aircross, of course we would take it.”


Like the 508, data used by ANCAP for the C5 Aircross was taken from tests by ANCAP’s European counterparts, Euro NCAP, who also gave it four stars.


Apart from losing a possible six points for not having cyclist detection, the C5 Aircross was also marked down for its autonomous emergency braking (AEB) performance for pedestrians, receiving just 2.2 points out of six – a score regarded as marginal.


The overall score for the vulnerable road user testing came to 27.92 points out of a possible 48, or 58 per cent, which was enough to cost it a five-star assessment. By contrast, the 508 scored 71 per cent.


In other test segments, the C5 Aircross fared better, being awarded 87 per cent for adult occupant protection, 88 per cent for child occupant protection and 73 per cent for safety assist.


Although Ford’s Focus was given a five-star rating last year under the previous testing regime, the Blue Oval has added more safety equipment and resubmitted it for the new test standard.


It scored an excellent 96 per cent score for adult protection – as good as that of the new Mercedes B-Class and CLA, and Peugeot 508 – while also getting 87 per cent for child protection and 72 per cent for each of the vulnerable road user and safety assist categories.


Unlike the Citroen C5 Aircross, the latest updated Focus has a cyclist AEB system, although it scored only 1.91 points out of a possible six in testing.

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