THE PROTON JUMBUCK, Australia's cheapest ute, has scored a dismal 1-Star rating after the latest round of ANCAP crash testing.
Only marginally better were the Great Wall Motors SA220 and V240 dual cab utes, with each scoring just 2-Star ratings.
With more commercial vehicles now achieving 4-Star and 5-Star ratings, (the Mercedes-Benz Vito recently became the first to receive a full 5-Star rating), ANCAP says the results for the low-cost utes are particularly concerning.
"Crash statistics show that occupants of 1 or 2-Stars vehicles have twice the risk of receiving life-threatening injuries in a crash, compared with 4 or 5-Star vehicles - at a time when 4 and 5-Star ratings are becoming increasingly available for new car buyers," ANCAP Chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said.
“New vehicles that achieve only a 1 or 2-Star ANCAP rating - while meeting the ADRs - are a cause for concern."
The Proton Jumbuck and both Great Wall utes fared poorly in ANCAP's testing, with all three experiencing significant loss of cabin integrity during the offset crash test.
The Jumbuck scored just one point out of 16 for the frontal offset crash, while the SA220 and V240 scored 2.32 and 2.36 respectively. Head and leg protection was low for both models.
“The SA220 and the Jumbuck lack airbags and other safety features that are expected as standard equipment by new car buyers," Mr McIntosh said.
“The V240 has dual airbags but these failed to protect the driver and passenger from injury in our
Despite the low ratings for the SA220 and V240, Great Wall importer Ateco Automotive is putting a positive spin on the results, saying a 2-Star rating is a good outcome for the Chinese-built utilities.
However, the company also says Great Wall engineers will study the ANCAP test results and work towards improving safety for future products.
"Great Wall takes safety very, very seriously," Ateco spokesperson Daniel Cotterill said.
"Our technical people from Ateco and the technical people from Great Wall are really head-down working on the information that's been made available to them, and they are coming back to us very confident that they can make significant advances insofar as safety is concerned."