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Holden’s Astra earns five safety stars

Not unanimous: Holden’s Astra has earned five safety stars, but the rating does not apply to the base Astra R, which was not tested.

Upmarket Holden Astra variants earn five-star rating from ANCAP

Holden logo8 Nov 2016

HOLDEN’S all-new Astra – or some variants at least – has been awarded a five-star safety rating by the independent Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), thus ticking another box for General Motor’s Australian affiliate on the road to becoming a full-line importer.

Due in showrooms later this month, the European-built Astra is a critical piece of the new-model jigsaw for Holden, which has promised 24 new models by 2020 as it reworks its line-up after the end of local manufacturing next year.

The rating applies only to the mid-range Astra RS and flagship RS-V, both which have autonomous emergency braking and lane-keeping assist, helping them to earn a couple of extra points towards the five-star rating.

But the base Astra R, which lacks these features as standard equipment and will not get them as options until March next year, was not rated because the test data was taken from NCAP tests in Europe where Opel does not sell an R equivalent.

The European test was done on a 1.4-litre Astra Enjoy, which offers the safety equipment on the options list.

According to data supplied by ANCAP, the testing was not all plain sailing, as the Astra’s crash test chest protection was rated only acceptable, costing points in the ratings process.

By comparison, Volkswagen’s Golf gets the top good rating on chest protection, while the Mazda3 gets good for the front-seat passenger and acceptable for the driver.

The crash dummy representing the driver also copped a knock on the lower leg in the front-offset crash.

In most other regards, the Astra got top points to earn a five-star rating.

ANCAP singled out the Astra’s pedestrian protection for special praise, saying the bumper provided good protection for pedestrians’ legs, while pelvic protection was also good.

It is unclear if the entry level Astra R will be tested by ANCAP, which sometimes chooses to use overseas data and other times does its own crash testing at Crashlab, in Sydney.

Noting the five-star performance by the Astra RS and RS-V, ANCAP chief executive officer James Goodwin said safety technologies were achieving real-world safety benefits.

“We encourage consumers to choose a model with these technologies fitted,” he said.

In the vital frontal offset crash test, the engineers reported that the Astra’s cabin remained stable.

In the side impact test, the rear door became unlatched, costing points.

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