You no longer need to buy large expensive cars to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with driving a five-star ANCAP rated vehicle. ANCAP have announced that recent testing of the Mitsubishi Lancer and Hyundai i30 has resulted in five-star ratings for both of the small car contenders and both are available for under $30,000.
?What we are now seeing is the provision of the latest vehicle safety features in cars below $30,000 ? which is great news for consumers,? said ANCAP Chairman, Lauchlan McIntosh
ANCAP crash test new cars and awards them a star rating for safety based on internationally recognised protocols.
The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer rated highly for occupant protection following a series of crash tests ? a frontal offset, a side offset and a pole test. The model tested was the top-spec model, which includes head-protecting side air bags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) ? both prerequisites for a five-star rating under ANCAP?s rating methodology. The lower spec Lancer scored four stars.
The Hyundai i30, which also includes side curtains and ESC, achieved five stars after a recent modification improved the vehicle?s knee impact area, which ANCAP had raised as an issue. The New Zealand i30 will receive the same upgrade. Similar to the Lancer, the lower spec i30 scores four stars. Four-star results have also been obtained by the Kia Rondo with side curtain airbags, and the base-model Ford Focus with chest-protecting side airbags.
Five-star ANCAP ratings have also been awarded to the Renault Laguna III and Holden Astra based on comparative test results scored in the European program EuroNCAP.
?The Lancer result is a good outcome for Mitsubishi and we congratulate them on the vehicle ? it scored well in the three crash tests conducted and it was pleasing to see the high-spec model with side curtain airbags which protect the head,? said Mr McIntosh.
The most difficult ANCAP test for a vehicle to pass is the side pole impact or pole test. Manufacturers looking for a five-star outcome must donate a car to ANCAP for this specific test and some manufacturers have been reluctant to do so. Despite popular belief, ANCAP buys all vehicles from the manufacturer for other tests. Side curtain airbags are virtually a requirement to score well in the pole test as was the case with the Lancer and i30.
?However, ANCAP would like to see manufacturers fit curtain airbags and ESC as standard equipment to all models, bringing these valuable safety features to a wider range of customers.?
With manufacturers concentrating their efforts on a four or five star occupant safety rating acutely aware of the marketing benefits such a rating brings, the unfortunate pedestrian has not fared so well.
The Lancer, i30, Laguna and Focus earned two stars out of four for pedestrian protection and the Rondo and Astra earned just one star. Recent discussions between ANCAP and several manufacturers indicate that improved car front designs are on the way.