A new round of testing by the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) has seen 5-Star ratings go to Ford's upcoming 2012 Focus range, along with the all-new Lexus CT 200h hybrid hatch and the high-riding Citroen DS4.
Euro NCAP is the sister organisation to Australia's ANCAP, with both programs sharing near identical testing procedures and criteria. The ratings of equivalently-specified Euro NCAP-tested cars are often adopted as an official ANCAP score in the Australian market.
Lexus CT 200h
The 2011 Lexus CT 200h - already available in Australia but currently without an ANCAP score - achieved an overall 94 percent score. Its passenger compartment remained stable in frontal impact testing, with passenger and driver knee airbags providing good protection.
Maximum points were scored in the side barrier impact, while the more severe side pole impact rated protection as marginal.
2012 Ford Focus
The all-new Focus achieved an overall score of 82 percent, with its passenger compartment remaining stable in the front impact tests. All regions of the body were well-protected except for the lower legs of the driver, where protection was listed as adequate.
Pelvis protection in side barrier testing was adequate, and good for all other body regions. Chest protection was rated as marginal in the side pole test, with protection for other regions rated as good or adequate.
The seat and head-restraint provided good protection against whiplash injuries in a rear impact. The Focus also achieved maximum points for 'three year-old child' protection in the frontal and side impact tests.
2012 Citroen DS4
The Citroen DS4, expected in Australia later this year, achieved the best result of the three small cars with a 97 percent overall score.
The DS4's passenger compartment remained stable in the frontal impact, with good protection for the knees and femurs of both the driver and front passenger.
The DS4 scored maximum points for the protection it provided in the side barrier test, while chest and abdomen protection in the side pole test was listed as adequate. Head and pelvis protection was described as good.
The DS4 was also awarded the Euro NCAP Advanced award for the debut of its eTouch service, which features an integrated SIM card in the onboard telecommunications system, providing emergency and assistance calls around the clock (depending on the country of use).
ANCAP scores for the CT 200h, Focus and DS4 have not yet been revealed, but this week's Euro NCAP results give local buyers an idea of what to expect for Australia (although buyers are advised to rely only on official ANCAP scores for the local market).