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Proton safety on the up

Building block: Proton is trying to build consumer confidence in its brand, and is now working on lifting the Exora’s four-star ANCAP rating to a maximum five-star result.

ANCAP hands down five-star rating for Proton Suprima, four-star result for Exora MPV

General News logo12 Sep 2013

THE Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has handed down a four-star safety rating for Proton’s new Exora people-mover and a maximum five-star result for the forthcoming Suprima S hatchback.

As GoAuto has reported, the crash-test results for both new-generation models were expected, with Proton Cars Australia confirming earlier this month that further engineering work would be undertaken on the Exora to provide it with a five-star rating.

The Preve sedan, upon which the Suprima is based, became Proton’s first five-star car when tested earlier this year.

In announcing the latest results, ANCAP said the Suprima’s result in particular “reflects the continuing efforts of Proton to lift the level of safety in their new vehicles”.

“It is encouraging to see better performance by Proton particularly in relation to the Suprima result, but clearly more work needs to be done on the Exora to improve safety,” said ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh.

In the frontal offset crash test of the Exora, ANCAP found a high risk of serious injury to the driver’s legs. Side-impact performance was deemed ‘good’, but overall pedestrian test results were ‘poor’.

“The lack of rear curtain airbags is also of concern for a people-mover which will inevitably be marketed to families,” Mr McIntosh said.

The Exora’s official on-sale date is set down for October 1, with pricing from $25,990 driveaway for the entry-level GX model, and $27,990 d/a for the higher-series GXR.

Standard safety equipment will include four airbags, electronic stability control and ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.

On sale from December 1, the Suprima’s full specifications are still to be announced, but on the safety front it will mirror the Preve and up the ante on Exora with six airbags as standard.

As GoAuto reported exclusively last year, Proton has been using the Sydney Crashlab facility – as used by ANCAP – to improve the safety performance of its vehicles.

The Malaysian brand’s new-generation models are clearly a cut above the current and previous crop, the current S16 light sedan managing only three stars when crash-tested in 2011 (although it has since had a safety upgrade) and the recently discontinued Jumbuck ute turning out one of the worst performances in ANCAP history with just one star when tested in 2010.

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