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Safety first for mid-size SUVs in latest ANCAP results

Top marks: The Hyundai Santa Fe scored 35.63 points out of 37 to be one of 39 vehicles tested this year to achieve a maximum five star ANCAP crash safety rating.

New Outlander, Santa Fe, Infiniti FX among top scorers in latest ANCAP crash tests

General News logo10 Dec 2012


A QUARTET of SUVs and a French hatch have been awarded the maximum five star crash safety rating in the latest round of testing by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

Recently released mid-size SUVs comprising the Mitsubishi Outlander, Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento plus the Infiniti FX luxury SUV all achieved top marks in the latest tests.

Citroen’s DS4 premium hatch also achieved five stars, with all of the tests being conducted on European-spec vehicles by Euro NCAP.

Unsurprisingly, the two newest of the four SUVs tested received the highest overall scores, with the Hyundai Santa Fe scoring 35.63 of a possible 37 points and the Mitsubishi Outlander achieving 35.58.

The South Korean-built Santa Fe performed well in the frontal offset crash test with 15.63 out of 16 points. ANCAP said that the passenger compartment held its shape well, but there was a “slight risk of serious chest injury for the driver.” In the side impact crash test, the Santa Fe scored top marks of 16 out of 16, as did the Mitsubishi Outlander.

80 center imageFrom top: Mitsubishi Outlander Kia Sorento Infiniti FX Citroen DS4.

The Infiniti FX also scored the maximum 16 points in the side impact crash test, but scored the lowest in the frontal offset test with 12.5 out of 16 for an overall score of 33.48 out of 37.

ANCAP said that although the compartment held its shape well, “protection from serious leg injury was marginal for the driver and passenger”.

Kia’s Sorento SUV was slightly behind the FX with an overall score of 33.21 out of 37.

The five-star results for the Santa Fe, Outlander and Sorento added to the recent top-scores for other volume-selling mid size SUVs, as the new Honda CR-V received a five star ANCAP rating in October and the upcoming fourth-generation Subaru Forester was awarded five stars from Euro NCAP.

The Citroen DS4 was awarded 14.68 out of 16 for occupant protection in the frontal offset test with a “slight risk of serious chest and leg injury for the driver and passenger”, and top marks for side impact to achieve an overall score of 35.68.

Notably, the Mitsubishi Outlander was the only vehicle to achieve a grade of ‘acceptable’ for pedestrian protection, while the four other vehicles tested rated as ‘marginal’, the second lowest ranking above ‘poor’.

ANCAP has performed crash safety tests on 48 vehicles in 2012, with 39 (81 per cent) achieving the maximum five star rating.

Eight vehicles, or 17 per cent of cars tested, were awarded a four star safety rating, while just one vehicle, the Indian-made Mahindra Pik-Up, recorded a three star rating.

None of the vehicles tested in 2012 achieved less than three stars.

ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said that now was a good time of year for consumers to look at vehicle safety.

“Just in time for Christmas,” he said, “motorists can pack up their family and head off on their summer sojourns in any one of these cars knowing they are travelling in some of the safest on the market.” “Safety should be the first consideration whenever we hit the road – particularly during the busy Christmas and New Year holiday period,” he said.

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