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Ford Focus gets five stars in Europe

Not again: Ford’s European-built Focus is equipped to breeze through ANCAP testing, unlike the Mustang that managed three stars.

Promising start for new Ford Focus with Euro NCAP five-star safety rating

General News logo19 Jul 2018

FORD Australia looks set to avoid a repetition of its Mustang safety rating controversy when its new Focus small car arrives in Australia later this year, with the upcoming fourth-generation Focus given a five-star rating by the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP).
 
While the latest American-built Mustang launched in Australia last month has been given a lowly three-star rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), the European-made Focus is likely to breeze through the local test protocols on the back of the Euro NCAP rating.
 
The Mustang got an even lower score of just two stars when it was tested in Australia in January 2017, more than a year after its launch, but recent improvements such as the addition of autonomous emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning and lane keeping help to earn it an extra star.
 
However, ANCAP blasted the sportscar’s crash safety, saying it fell short of expectations.
 
The independent safety watchdog said the recent upgrade had failed to address the injury risk to rear-seat occupants as well as whiplash protection.
 
The good news for Ford is that the new European-developed Focus has met five-star standards under the latest Euro NCAP protocols, meaning it should also pass the latest Australian and New Zealand ANCAP standards for five-star cars just introduced.
 
This week, the Mazda CX-8 and Volvo XC40 both were awarded five stars – the first to get the honour under the stiff new standards.
 
The Euro NCAP testing for Focus was done on a base 1.0-litre, three-cylinder five-door hatchback Trend, but it applies across the range, including the 1.5-litre version that will represent the entry level in Australia.
 
The European Focus range is made in Saarlouis – the same German factory that will supply Ford Australia when the new model arrives.
 
Test results show that the Focus scored 85 per cent for adult occupant protection, losing points because of “marginal” front-seat whiplash protection which in turn meant the car could not collect extra points for the AEB city test that requires good headrests.
 
Focus received a score of 87 per cent for child occupant protection, 72 per cent for protection of “vulnerable road users” – meaning pedestrians and cyclists – and 75 per cent for safety assist technologies.
 
A lot will depend on what safety equipment boxes Ford Australia ticks for its local offerings, but with an all-new Toyota Corolla in the wings and a likely contender for five stars, Ford is unlikely to take the risk of another publicity pounding.

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