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Volvo V40 awarded record crash-test scores

Safe inside and out: An almost perfect adult occupant protection score for the Volvo V40 is complemented by the highest-yet pedestrian protection rating, courtesy of its groundbreaking pedestrian airbag.

Record adult occupant, pedestrian safety ratings for Volvo V40 in latest ENCAP test

30 Aug 2012

THE all-new Volvo V40 premium small car, due to go on sale in Australia in February next year, has been awarded a record score in the latest round of Euro NCAP crash tests, including a best-yet 98 per cent for adult occupant protection.

Volvo’s groundbreaking Pedestrian Airbag, which automatically raises the bonnet and covers hard areas like the A-pillars when an impact is detected, also earned the car a record 88 per cent score in the pedestrian protection test.

The V40 also scored 100 per cent for the standard inclusion of safety assist technology including a speed limiter, electronic stability control and seatbelt reminders for all positions.

Child occupant safety was the only area in which the Volvo did not post a record score, with a 75 per cent rating, but Volvo points out the standard inclusion of its lauded City Safety technology means the V40 is less likely to be involved in a crash to start with.

Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen praised the V40 for “setting a new standard” in safety.

“The scores observed today were unthinkable just a few years ago,” he said.

 center imageFrom top: Euro NCAP testing for Audi A3 Renault Clio Ford B-Max Kia Ceed.

“In Europe, 14 percent of all road traffic fatalities are pedestrians. While in the last three years Euro NCAP has increased the requirements, the vehicle manufacturers have stepped up to the challenge.”

Volvo Car Corporation senior safety technical advisor Thomas Broberg said the company is proud of the result and to have one of the world’s safest cars in its range – contributing to its target that nobody should die or be seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.

A key competitor to the V40, the new Audi A3 – due to arrive in Australia around the same time as the Volvo and the first model to emerge on Volkswagen Group’s new modular MQB vehicle architecture – also scored highly in the latest round of tests.

The A3 scored 95 per cent for adult occupant and a Volvo-trouncing 87 per cent for child occupant, but the lack of a standard speed limiter reduced the Audi’s safety assist score, where it was awarded 86 per cent.

Audi points out the A3’s standard safety technology such as post-collision automatic braking (designed to prevent the car causing further collisions by rolling out of control after a crash), daytime-running lights and driver rest recommendation goes “above and beyond the measures assessed by Euro NCAP”.

A relatively high 74 per cent score for pedestrian protection was afforded by the A3’s bonnet, which like the V40 automatically raises in the event of a collision, but lacks the Volvo’s airbag technology.

The Renault Clio, due to launch in Australia in the second half of next year, also scored five stars, with 88 per cent for adult occupant (losing points for ‘marginal’ whiplash protection), a strong 89 per cent for child protection that (placing it among the best in its segment), a segment-leading 66 per cent for pedestrian protection and 99 per cent for safety assist technologies.

Renault’s previous-generation Clio was the first light car to achieve five Euro NCAP stars in 2005, meaning the French company was “compelled to mark a further step forward” with the new model.

Vehicles also scoring five Euro NCAP stars but not coming to Australia were the Kia Cee’d small car and Ford’s Fiesta-based B-Max people-mover.

The Isuzu D-Max scored four stars, but Isuzu Ute Australia is hopeful of being awarded five stars by Australasian NCAP.

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