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Small cars star

Five-star car: Renault's forthcoming Clio III scored five stars.

Little cars triumph in latest European NCAP testing as Peugeot 1007 decision looms

General News logo12 Jul 2005

SMALL cars are getting safer, according to the world-leading independent safety authority Euro NCAP.

Euro NCAP has confirmed Peugeot’s 1007 light car as the highest scoring car ever across all classes for adult occupant protection.

The micro-Peugeot, which is under consideration for Australia, was also best in the super-mini class and was one of seven cars to be awarded the coveted five-star adult occupant rating.

Among the best-in-class winners were the Lexus GS300 and the new Mercedes A-class, the latter having just gone on sale in Australia.

The new Renault Clio, due here next year, also scored a five-star rating.

Peugeot Australia spokesman Mathew McAuley said the company was buoyed by the 1007’s success and that a decision on its likelihood for Australia was expected to be made in the next two months.

Seven cars also achieved a four-star Euro NCAP rating for child protection, while Suzuki’s popular new Swift received a commendable three-star Euro NCAP rating for pedestrian protection.

Euro NCAP chairman Claes Tingvall said it was gratifying to see that more than half the cars tested achieved a five-star occupant rating.

"I am encouraged to see that more cars than ever are achieving the four-star child protection rating when the recommended restraint is used," he said.

Mr Tingvall also commended those manufacturers focusing on pedestrian protection, although he admitted that "some are still lagging".

"I would urge all manufacturers to use the best-in-class winners as their benchmark and for everyone to redouble their efforts in this important safety area," he said.

"All but one of the cars was fitted with some form of seatbelt reminder and I am delighted to see the increased fitment of belt reminders for all seating positions.

"Many cars can now be purchased with stability control," he added. "Accident research has shown that such systems help the driver maintain control of the car, and the research shows that if all cars in Europe were fitted with stability control, thousands of lives could be saved." Mr Tingvall said the benefits of stability control were large enough for Euro NCAP to recommend it to all car buyers.

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