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Chinese Qoros 3 nets five-star Euro NCAP score

Euro NCAP awards its highest score of 2013 to the Chinese Qoros 3


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26 Sep 2013

A CHINESE-BUILT small sedan this week achieved the highest Euro NCAP safety score of any vehicle tested in 2013.

The Qoros 3, which is actively being considered for Australian sale in the medium-term, attained a near-perfect adult occupant safety score of 95 per cent, more than any other car this year.

Its performance in the areas of child protection (87 per cent), pedestrian protection (77 per cent) and preventative safety assist (81 per cent) was also commended.

It marks a minor watershed moment for China’s domestic industry, becoming the first product from a Chinese car-maker to attain the maximum ENCAP score. The Geely Emgrand EC7 and MG 6 had until now set the benchmark with four-star results.

The Shanghai-based start-up brand, founded in 2007, is a 50:50 joint-venture between budget Chinese car-maker Chery and an Israeli investment firm. It pitches its wares further up-market than most Chinese brands, having hired numerous European executives from Saab and BMW and commissioning its own unique platform architecture.

It’s also inked deals with world-class suppliers such as Magna Steyr, TRW, Continental, Bosch, Microsoft and Iconmobile.

The ‘3’ - not to be confused with Mazda - is marketed as a Volkswagen Jetta rival in Europe, and the ambitious company is understood to have a hatchback and a crossover SUV in the pipeline.

In its report, Euro NCAP noted that the Qoros’ passenger compartment remained stable under frontal impact, with dummy readings showing ‘good’ protection ratings for the upper body, knees and femur.

It scored the maximum in side-barrier testing, ‘adequate’ chest and abdomen protection in the severe side-pole test and good whiplash-resistance in the rear-end collision test.

Front and side airbags, side head curtain airbags for the front and rear seats, three-point automatic seat belts on all seats and dual belt tensioners for front passengers are all standard.

The Qoros also scored maximum points for child restraint in the front and side crash tests. ISOFIX child seat anchorages in the rear, with top tether hooks, and a passenger airbag disconnect switch for the front passenger seat position are standard.

ENCAP commended the car’s pedestrian rating, drawing exception only to the “stiff windscreen pillars”. The fitment of stability control, seatbelt reminders and a speed-limiter ticked the requisite boxes to pass the Safety Assist test.

Qoros vice chairman Volker Steinwascher said of the result: “The safety of our vehicles was one of our key development goals from the start. It’s a crucial demonstration that our customers are the most important consideration and it also says a great deal about the engineering integrity of the car as a whole.

“So, while we expected a very good result in the Euro NCAP test, we are naturally very happy with how the car performed. The Qoros engineering team invested an incredible amount of time and commitment in developing one of the safest vehicles ever assessed by Euro NCAP.”

According to executive director of vehicle integration Roger Malkusson, the company has “been working towards this result for many years. Our safety team is made up of experts from many different countries and our efforts have been focused on delivering a thoroughly well engineered car that achieved maximum safety scores”.

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