Launching in Australia today, the Dualis-replacing Qashqai’s top safety score is no surprise, but Mr McIntosh said that the absence of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) was “astounding”.
Mr McIntosh highlighted the technology’s availability in European versions of the Qashqai, but not with Australian and New Zealand variants.
“It is astounding to see yet another mainstream manufacturer despecify their models for our local market,” he said.
“AEB is a proven life-saver and all manufacturers should be doing their utmost to bring this technology to the market today. The lack of AEB cannot be a matter of cost as it is available on other inexpensive cars. Are lives in Australia and New Zealand worth less than those in Europe?” he said.
Nissan Australia has responded to the complaints, confirming that it had pushed for local models to be equipped with Autonomous Emergency Braking but that the international production schedule had not made the technology available to our market.
The company did not detail the specific reasons for the system being witheld, although it is continuing to petition global management.
While ANCAP’s current standards do not require AEB to be fitted in order to achieve a 5-Star rating, the organisation has previously confirmed it is considering making the technology a requirement in the future.
ANCAP and Victorian road authority TAC have also launched an advertising campaign urging buyers to consider AEB a top priority when purchasing a new car.
SsangYong’s new Stavic people-mover also came under fire, with its new 4-Star safety rating described as “mediocre” for a family vehicle.
ANCAP frontal offset tests determined that chest and leg injuries were likely for the driver, while structural integrity at the A-pillar and brake pedal movement were also brought into question.
“A number of factors limited the Stavic to 4 stars including its average performance in the frontal offset crash test and the lack of head-protecting side curtain airbags,” Mr McIntosh said.
C-Class Gets 5 Stars
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, due in Australia soon, also achieved a top 5-Star rating.
Safety features for the new C-Class midsizer include Autonomous Emergency Braking, along with nine airbags and a fatigue detection system that alerts the driver when drowsiness is detected and urges a rest stop.
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