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Nissan Qashqai gets five-stars, and a reprimand

Safety check: The SsangYong Stavic people-mover scored four stars in the latest round of crash safety testing by ANCAP.

ANCAP awards Nissan Qashqai five stars, but says it’s missing vital safety feature

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General News logo14 Jul 2014

By RICHARD BERRY

IN ITS latest round of crash safety tests, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has awarded a five-star rating to the new Nissan Qashqai compact SUV, but says it’s missing an important safety feature.

The petrol and diesel variants of the Qashqai performed well in all tests, but ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said Australian versions are not equipped with the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), a safety feature found in the European version of the crossover.

“AEB is available on the European-sold Qashqai yet it is not available at all on Australian and New Zealand models,” Mr McIntosh said.

“It is astounding to see yet another mainstream manufacturer despecify their models for our local market.

“AEB is a proven life-saver and all manufacturers should be doing their utmost to bring this technology to the market today. The lack of AEB cannot be a matter of cost as it is available on other inexpensive cars. Are lives in Australia and New Zealand worth less than those in Europe?” he said.

The Australian launch of the Qashqai SUV takes place today, with the model arriving in local Nissan dealerships this week.

Nissan Australia general manager of corporate communications Peter Fadeyev said the safety tech was not available for the Australian-spec Qashqais, but that the local arm of the Japanese car-maker is working on adding it down the track.

“Autonomous Emergency Braking is available on the European specification Qashqai, but that technology on this model is currently confined to the European market,” Mr Fadeyev said.

“We requested it for the Australian Qashqai, but at this time it’s simply not available for our market but we are continuing work to have it fitted to our vehicle in the future.” Other results from the latest ANCAP tests show the Mercedes-Benz C-Class mid-sizer also scoring maximum five-star rating. The C-Class is fitted with a host a safety equipment including AEB, a fatigue detection function and nine airbags.

An updated version of SsangYong’s Stavic seven-seat people-mover scored four stars in the latest round of testing, with ANCAP finding that chest and upper and lower leg injuries were likely during the frontal offset test.

“A number of factors limited the Stavic to 4 stars including its average performance in the frontal offset crash test and the lack of head-protecting side curtain airbags,” Mr McIntosh said.

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