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New Holden Commodore gets safety tick

Slam dunk: Holden’s new sixth-generation Commodore is the first new model to clear the bar on tougher safety testing for ANCAP’s five-star safety rating.

Imported ZB Holden Commodore gets off to a five-star start with ‘solid’ ANCAP result

1 Feb 2018

THE safest Holden Commodore in the 40-year history of the nameplate has been given a five-star tick of approval by Australia’s independent safety watchdog under a tougher new test regime introduced this year by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

The imported new-generation ZB Commodore – based on the latest Opel/Vauxhall Insignia and built on the same production line in Germany – has the distinction of being the first car to achieve the top safety rating under a new test regime that brings Australia and New Zealand into line with tough European NCAP safety assessments this year.

ANCAP used the Euro NCAP crash testing and analysis of the Insignia done last year as the basis for its own assessment, with ANCAP engineers saying the Holden version offered comparable safety performance to its European counterpart.

The sixth Commodore – replacing the Australian-made VF version that went out of production in October – will be launched next week in a move that will shape the future of General Motors’ Australian brand.

The Commodore has a history of safety firsts, becoming the first locally built car to offer a driver’s airbag (in the VR Commodore in 1993) and installation of side airbags (in the VT Commodore in 1997).

ANCAP chief executive James Goodwin said the new Commodore had achieved solid results across all areas of assessment.

“Australian families and fleet buyers have long regarded the Commodore as a trusted local choice and the shift to overseas supply has further enhanced the model’s safety credentials,” he said.

“This next-generation Commodore includes safety assist technologies not seen in its locally-produced predecessor, with standard-fit features such as autonomous emergency braking and active lane-keep assist.”

The ANCAP rating applies to all variants in all three Commodore body styles – liftback, Sportwagon and TourerThe Commodore scored 35.54 points out of a possible 38, or 93 per cent, for adult occupant protection – just 3.0 per cent off the benchmark for a large passenger sedan set by the new Volkswagen Arteon.

Chest and lower leg protection was rated as adequate in the frontal offset and full-width frontal crash test, but head protection was rated as good.

The Commodore breezed through the side impact and oblique pole tests, getting eight out of eight on each, but lost some ground on the whiplash protection test (2.14 out of 3), because the rear-seat passenger dummy neck protection was rated as marginal.

In a new test, the autonomous emergency city braking performance was rated as good, scoring 2.81 points.

The Commodore’s child protection was rated the same as the Arteon – 85 per cent – but pedestrian protection was deemed somewhat behind – 78 per cent for the Commodore to 85 per cent for the Arteon.

One of the biggest changes to the new test parameters for ANCAP testing is in safety assist technologies where the Commodore achieved 77 per cent compared with the Arteon’s 82.

Autonomous emergency braking – a must under the new test regime – was rated as good on Commodore, although it lost points because it misses out on 21 of the 64 possible safety assist technologies listed by ANCAP, including relatively common items such as rear cross-traffic alert, speed limit sign recognition and tyre pressure monitoring.

A number of other features such as adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights and blind-spot monitor are only available on upper specifications.

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