The new year also brings stiff new requirements to the Australasian New Car Assessment Program, setting the bar higher for any carmaker hunting for a 5-Star rating.
While a number of modern technologies are already required for a top rating - including electronic stability control - vehicles tested in 2013 will need a new minimum level of safety equipment and assist systems.
The new V40 led the way in this latest round of tests, performing solidly in crash testing and also listing a broad range of passenger and pedestrian safety features.
Among them is a new external airbag, deploying from behind the instantly raised bonnet in the event of a collision with a pedestrian.
Volvo says the system functions at a range of speeds, and can also detect the stature and position of a pedestrian so as to ensure best protection.
The ANCAP report adds that the V40 provides "good protection in all areas likely to be struck by a pedestrian’s head, making the V40 the first car to score maximum points in this area, [and] one of the few vehicles to earn a ‘Good’ rating for overall pedestrian protection."
"Achieving the maximum safety rating possible is paramount, but the praise of our world-first Pedestrian Airbag technology gives weight to our ‘safety beyond stars’ philosophy and is yet another important step toward our 2020 target that nobody should die or be seriously injured in a new Volvo car.”
The Forester also performed well in physical tests, and its 5-Star rating is aided by the addition of Subaru's new Eyesight crash avoidance system, previously featured in the Liberty range.
Also joining the Forester is a new X-Mode system, optimising the all-wheel-drive system and transmission for managing potentially dangerous road conditions.
The X-Mode system ties together the Hill Descent and Vehicle Dynamics Control functions, optimising throttle, traction, braking and other critical components.
The new SUV continues the carmaker's record of 5-Star rated vehicles, making it one of the all-round safest line-ups available in Australia.
The Corsa also adds to Opel's all-5-Star rating in Australia, which includes the larger Astra small car range and the midsized Insignia family car.
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