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ANCAP: Chinese MG GS gets four stars

Ship shape: China’s MG GS shows no deformation around the passenger cell in ANCAP’s demanding offset crash test.

Sturdy MG GS misses out on five-star rating due to absent safety tech

MG logo17 Jan 2017

THE British-engineered, Chinese-made MG GS medium SUV has surprised Australian safety engineers with a better-than-expected offset crash test performance under the independent Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

Although the GS ended up with four stars out of the possible five due to some missing safety technologies such as audible rear seatbelt reminders, the basic structure exhibited surprising crash strength for a Chinese vehicle.

ANCAP chief executive officer James Goodwin said: “The GS is a good car structurally, offering sound levels of occupant protection, however its safety specification is lacking.

“Consumers have come to expect a higher standard of safety features and unfortunately it falls short of the top safety rating.”

Mr Goodwin said his organisation was working with MG to see if a specification upgrade could be made to lift the vehicle over the five-star mark.

Photographs of the GS offset crash test at Sydney’s Crashlab test centre show no visible deformation of the front A-pillar, doors or sills, while the windscreen appears to be intact.

It is a far cry from early Chinese vehicles that crumpled alarmingly under similar tests.

In recent times, however, vehicles from the world’s biggest motor market have made healthy strides, with Haval’s H9 large SUV also recording four stars.

MG Australia has told GoAuto that its goal is to have all of its future vehicles engineered to five-star NCAP standards, but because the GS is well into its life cycle in China and other markets such as the Middle East, it is difficult to have it retro-engineered for the small volumes of vehicles expected initially in Australia.

Originally, the GS was to have been launched in Australia in the third quarter of 2016, but was delayed until March this year while the company prepared it for market.

MG’s other current offering in Australia, the MG6, was also awarded four stars by ANCAP. The MG3 light hatchback has yet to be tested, but because it is older than the GS, it might struggle to match the four-star level of its siblings.

In the frontal offset crash test of the MG GS, most of the front-seat occupant results were either good or acceptable, with only the driver’s right leg returning a “marginal” result, possibly reflecting the lack of a knee-protecting airbag on that side of the vehicle.

ANCAP awarded the GS a creditable 13.47 points out of a possible 16. The side-impact test was a clean sweep of good results – 16 out of 16 – while the whiplash test also came through with a top “good” result.

The pedestrian impact test was mixed, with GS ending up with 25.7 points our of 36.

While the GS is equipped with side head-protecting airbags for all outboard occupants, it only has chest protecting side airbags for the front-seat occupants.

Modern safety technologies missing from the features list include autonomous emergency braking, rear-seat pretensioners, adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, lane keeping assist and knee airbag for the driver.

The GS will be launched in Australia with a choice of two four-cylinder petrol engines – a 1.5-litre turbo and 2.0-litre. The latter is said to produce 162kW of power and 350Nm of torque, pushing the GS from zero to 100km/h in 8.2 seconds.

It will be fitted as standard with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission for both engines, while buyers can choose from two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants.

A one-size-smaller SUV, the ZS, is expected to follow the GS into Australian showrooms later this year.

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