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Five safety stars for ASX, i20 and Fiesta

Seeing stars: Mitsubishi's ASX compact SUV in ANCAP's side pole crash test.

Mitsubishi’s ASX joins Hyundai and Ford light-cars in scoring five ANCAP stars

Mitsubishi logo9 Aug 2010

By MARTON PETTENDY

AUSTRALIA’S top independent crash safety group ANCAP has awarded a maximum five-star safety rating to Mitsubishi’s new ASX, Hyundai’s new i20 and Ford’s latest Fiesta.

While the Fiesta light-car attracted the highest total score of 34.45 points out of 37, its five-star rating applies only to models fitted with the full complement of seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, meaning the entry-level CL grade with just two airbags scores a four-star ANCAP rating.

Ford Australia has confirmed it will release a facelifted Fiesta range sourced from Thailand in the fourth quarter of this year, including a five-door hatchback and, for the first time, a four-door sedan version, with all versions to offer electronic stability control as standard.

ANCAP says the results of Euro NCAP testing of a 1.25-litre left-hand drive Fiesta hatch in Europe also apply to the sedan, but may vary for Australia’s current and upgraded Fiesta models.

The Fiesta scored 14.90 out of 16 in the offset crash test. “The passenger compartment held its shape well,” said ANCAP, adding: “There was a slight risk of serious chest and leg injury for the driver.” It also scored 15.55 out of 16 in the side impact test, in which ANCAP said there was a slight risk of serious abdomen injury for the driver, and a further two points in the optional pole test.

Meantime, the ASX compact SUV achieved the top five-star rating Mitsubishi expected of it, following local testing of a two-wheel drive version powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine, in which it scored 34.13 points overall.

21 center imageLeft: Ford Fiesta NCAP offset test. Below: Hyundai i20 NCAP offset crash test.

All ASXs come standard with seven airbags and ESC, allowing the entire range to score 14.13 out of 16 in the offset crash test, in which “the passenger compartment held its shape well” and “protection from serious leg injury was marginal for the driver”. The ASX scored 16 out of 16 in the side impact test and a further two points in the optional pole test.

Similarly, Hyundai’s new i20 scored 34.07 points overall in European tests of a 1.4-litre five-door GL variant fitted with six airbags. ANCAP said the same result can be expected from three-door models fitted with six airbags.

While all i20s sold in Australia are fitted as standard with ESC, entry-level Active variants do not come standard with the side and curtain airbags fitted ex-factory on midrange Elite and flagship Premium variants and therefore do not achieve the same five-star protection rating.

As we’ve reported, Hyundai says that will change from September, when all i20 variants will come as standard with six airbags and a slight price increase.

The i20 scored 13.07 out of 16 in the offset crash test, but matched the ASX in both other tests by scoring 16 out of 16 in the side impact test and a further two points in the optional pole test.

“The passenger compartment held its shape well,” said ANCAP. “There was a slight risk of serious chest injury for the driver. There was a slight risk of serious leg injury for the driver and passenger.”

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