ALL DUE IN AUSTRALIAN showrooms in the near future, a flotilla of new models have been awarded 5-Star crash test scores by Euro NCAP, the European equivalent of the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
The 2010 Kia Sorento, scheduled for an Australian launch this year, achieved an 87 percent score for Adult Occupant Protection, 84 percent for Child Protection and 71 percent for Safety Assist equipment, making it one of the safest mid-sized SUVs available in the European market.
Jonathan Fletcher, National Public Relations Manager for Kia Motors Australia, told TMR the result comes as little surprise.
"We're certainly not surprised about the Sorento's 5-Star Euro NCAP score. It was engineered all the way for a high level of passenger safety, and we now need to see how that fact, and the European NCAP score, translates to Australian crash testing," Mr Fletcher said.
The new fifth-generation 2010 Volkswagen Polo, due in Australia in early 2010 - with a three-door Polo revealed today - scored equally well, achieving a 5-star rating and a 90 percent score for Adult Occupant safety.
Child Occupant safety in the new Polo was scored at 86 percent, and the small VW hatch's Safety Assist equipment scored 71 percent.
Helping the Polo accomplish the 5-Star rating is an extremely rigid body structure, with a 'harp' structure positioned behind the front bumper designed to increase crumple space and lessen the danger of intrusion into the passenger space.
Skoda's next entry into the Australian market, the upcoming Yeti - due in local showrooms in mid to late 2010 - gained a 5-Star rating, however only Adult Occupant safety achieved a score above 80 percent, at a favourable 92 percent.
Child Occupant safety achieved a relatively high 78 percent, and the Yeti's Safety Assist equipment scored 71 percent.
?The result shows our commitment to safety aspects at the development stage that also includes seat geometry tests and the strength of the applied materials,? Skoda technological development chief Dr Eckhard Scholz, ?koda said.
The all-new 2010 Subaru Liberty, due for its Australian launch in September, achieved a 5-Star rating but failed to achieve an individual score above 80 percent.
Adult Occupant safety was rated at 79 percent, while Child Occupant safety and Safety Assist ranked at 73 percent and 71 percent respectively.
In Australia, the entire current-generation Subaru range has scored well with ANCAP, achieving a 5-Star safety rating across the range.