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Mike Stevens | May 28, 2009

JUST AS KIA Australia Public Relations Manager Jonathan Fletcher predicted at the Australian launch of the 2009 Kia Soul, the Korean manufacturer's funky new small car has achieved top honours in its Euro NCAP safety testing.

According to Euro NCAP, the Soul achieved maximum points in the program's new testing scheme for child and adult protection in the event of a frontal or side impact, with good protection offered against whiplash injuries.

Other Australian-delivered cars scoring the top 5-Star rating included the Audi Q5 SUV, the all-new Honda Jazz and the upcoming Hyundai i20 small car.

euro-ncap_audi-q6

Testing showed that the 2009 Audi Q5 provides good (note that 'good' is the highest ranking in Euro NCAP) protection for all parts of the occupants' bodies, however the steering column was determined to present a risk of injury to femurs.

The Q5 scored maximum points for side barrier impact for both adults and children, with forward movement from a front impact described as 'not excessive.'

euro-ncap_honda-jazz_01

The 2009 Honda Jazz rated well overall, however chest protection was defined as poor in the event of a side impact, with rib deflections exceeding safe limits. According to the tests, however, protection against other body regions was rated as 'good'.

Stiff structures in the dashboard were rated as a potential hazard to the femurs of the driver and front passenger.

Hyundai's neat-looking upcoming i20 small car, already on sale in Europe, joined the group with maximum points in side barrier impact testing for both adults and children.

euro-ncap_hyundai-i20

Like the Jazz, stiff structures in the dash of the i20 presented a hazard to the femurs of the front occupants.

Despite their dashes, both the Jazz and the i20 received top honours for pedestrian safety, providing good leg protection.

"We would like to commend the Honda Jazz and the Hyundai i20 for their impressive pedestrian scores that not only meet current requirements, but also meet Euro NCAP's future requirements," Euro NCAP said in a statement.

Click here to view more Euro NCAP videos.

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