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Five stars for Ford's Kuga

Blue Oval star: All-new Kuga attracts top honours from ENCAP.

Ford's forthcoming Kuga compact SUV achieves a maximum five-star ENCAP crash rating

General News logo3 Jun 2008

FORD has won a five-star crash rating for its new Kuga compact SUV following the latest round of Euro NCAP testing.

The Kuga is strongly tipped to come to Australia in the near future and may ultimately be built here as it is based on the Focus platform and Ford Australia is considering all Focus variants for local production here from 2011.

Five stars for adult occupant protection were also awarded to the new Audi A4, which is already on sale here, and the Skoda Superb large sedan that is scheduled for local release in the second quarter of 2009.

The Australian NCAP organisation is expected to assess these cars in local specification before confirming their five-star status, with ESC and curtain airbags being required for the top rating.

80 center imageSeat’s Ibiza supermini, which would be a starter in Australia if the VW-owned brand is launched here, also scored five stars, while four stars were awarded to the little Hyundai i10 (undecided for Australia), Citroen Berlingo van and Volkswagen T5 people-mover.

All seven vehicles scored four stars for child protection, but Euro NCAP warned that child safety was being compromised by widespread poor child restraint installation or weak fitment of the harness on the child.

No car-maker has yet achieved a five-star child protection rating and the organisation called on child seat and vehicle manufacturers as well as parents to take joint responsibility for the safety of children travelling in cars.

“Children deserve to be as well protected as adults and safety development in this area has not moved on as much as it should have done,” said Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen.

However, the safety organisation’s biggest criticism was reserved for the subject of pedestrian safety.

“Unlike child protection, no clear progress was seen in pedestrian protection despite approaching legislation,” said Euro NCAP in a statement.

The slab-fronted VW T5 scored only one star out of a possible four but the upmarket A4 and Superb sedans did little better, scoring only two stars – the same as the Berlingo.

Only three of the seven cars (i10, Ibiza and Kuga) managed a three-star pedestrian protection result.

In this week’s Australian NCAP report, the Kia Rondo and Holden Astra were awarded just a single star for pedestrian protection while the Mitsubishi Lancer, Hyundai i30, Renault Laguna and Ford Focus received two-star ratings.

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