Kia has responded to a poor three-star ANCAP safety score for its heroic Stinger sports sedan.
The South Korean brand has made amends for the low safety score handed down at the end of 2017 for its base Stinger S models with an increase in standard safety specification that now includes autonomous emergency braking which brings the car's rating up to five stars.
Base Stinger S four-cylinder and V6 models were awarded a lower safety score than higher specification models that scored five stars due to a lack of AEB. ANCAP introduced a new ratings system that came in to effect on January 1, 2018, which can split ratings across a range with the aim of calling out lower specified models.
ANCAP chief executive James Goodwin said at the time that consumers should feel let down that important safety features are being left out of the vehicles.
“Australasian consumers have come to expect five-star safety and, for this calibre of vehicle and at this price-point, there should be no safety exceptions – five stars should be the minimum safety rating offered across all variants,” said Goodwin.
“We would urge Kia to either upgrade the S variants or delete them from their Australian model line-up.”
Kia's local arm has now responded and said that at no time was there any suggestion the actual physical crash test would be any different without the technology.
“As soon as we were made aware of the unusual situation regarding the original ANCAP rating of the Stinger, Kia Motors Australia took steps to rectify and ensure consistency across the model range,” said Kia's Australia's chief operating officer, Damien Meredith.
At no stage was there any suggestion that the physical crash safety of any Stinger model was less than any other grade, however the absence of some technology on the entry-level cars led to a split rating. With the inclusion of AEB on both S grade models that situation no longer exists.”
However, the addition of AEB isn’t free, both S variants have been hit with a price rise of $1000 which takes the prices up to $46,990 before on-road costs for the four-cylinder model and $49,990 for the V6 S variant.
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