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More Korean models awarded 5 ANCAP stars

Safe bet: ANCAP's boss says the Kia Picanto proves you don't have to spend big money for good safety features in a new car.

Kia Picanto and Hyundai Elantra both take out top score in latest ANCAP tests

General News logo4 May 2016

SOUTH Korean sister marques Hyundai and Kia have each added another ANCAP five-star award to their trophy cabinets, with the Hyunda Elantra mid-sized sedan and Kia Picanto compact hatchback scoring the maximum rating in the latest round of safety tests.

Of the two models, the Hyundai Elantra narrowly beat the Picanto on overall points with a score of 35.01 out of 37 versus the Kia's 34.26, but both cars were praised for the integrity of their passenger cells during all tests and the inclusion of curtain airbags.

In the frontal offset test, the Hyundai managed an overall score of 14.01 out of 16, dropping points for a less than perfect result in driver's chest and lower leg injury protection, but took out the full 16 out of 16 in side impact testing.

A score of two out of two was awarded for the pole test, while whiplash protection for all occupants was deemed “good”.

The Elantra was rated “acceptable” in pedestrian protection, with 26 points out of 36. This included a strong performance in adult leg impacts, but it dropped a handful of points on child and head impact protection in which the windscreen edge and base were rated “poor”.

Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) CEO James Goodwin praised the Hyundai for including its crash performance, but he criticised the lack of autonomous braking on Elantra, saying this feature should be on all cars.

“The Elantra performed well in crash testing and is another sound addition to Hyundai’s fleet which sits well with its competitors in the small passenger vehicle market,” he said.

“Advanced safety assist technologies are unfortunately lacking on the Elantra, and Hyundai - along with other manufacturers - should step up and include technologies such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) on all models.”

Kia's Picanto earned its full five-star rating with strong performances in the frontal offset test in which it managed a total of 15.12 points out of 16 and the maximum two out of two for the pole test.

Some points were dropped in the side impact test with some risk of injury to both front occupant's lower legs and the driver's chest, totalling 14.14 out of 16.

Whiplash protection was rated “acceptable” and the maximum three out of three points were scored for seatbelt reminders.

The Picanto's least impressive performance was for pedestrian protection, with a “marginal” result and just 16.76 points out of a possible 36.

Most of the bonnet and lower windscreen areas were marked as “fail”, with low levels of protection for a pedestrian's head, but the bumper fared better with maximum marks.

Mr Goodwin said the Kia Picanto was a good example of how Australians do not need a large budget to get into a safe car.

“The Kia reinforces that safety should not be restricted by budget with the Picanto providing an affordable 5 star vehicle choice,” he said.

In a statement, ANCAP reminded Australian motorists that this week is National Road Safety Week. This year's principle theme is Stop Driving Blind and focuses on an awareness campaign to eliminate driver distraction.

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