Latest ratings show not all cars created equal in safety stakes


The latest results from the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) show there are still big differences in safety levels offered by new cars.

The results, released in New Zealand today by the Automobile Association and the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) show the 2012 Holden Barina has scored the highest five-star safety rating, alongside the Audi A6 and the BMW X3 SUV.

Other ANCAP test results released today include four stars for the Citroen Berlingo van and Nissan Micra, and disappointing three star results for the Chery J1 and Geely MK.

AA General Manager Motoring Services, Stella Stocks, says for a smaller car such as the Barina to score the top safety rating, it is testament that manufacturers can produce very safe small cars.

“It is no longer surprising to see manufacturers producing vehicles that score 5-stars.” 

The new Holden Barina maintained its structure well during crash testing and comes with a full complement of air bags, anti-lock braking (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), electronic stability control (ESC) and seat belt reminders as standard features.

“Given this result, there is no excuse for any manufacturer to be releasing new vehicles that score less than four stars, so the Chery J1 and Geely MK results are unacceptable.  I urge New Zealand motorists to ask what the safety rating is when they are making their next vehicle purchase and buy the safest vehicle they can afford to buy,” says Ms Stocks.

NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield says the agency is promoting the purchase of safer vehicles as part of the Safer Journeys strategy, aimed at significantly reducing deaths and serious injuries on New Zealand roads by 2020.

“Reducing road deaths and injuries is a shared responsibility that requires safer roads and roadsides, safe speeds, better driver behaviour, and safer vehicles. When consumers have good information on vehicle safety they will purchase safer vehicles – that demand in turn drives manufacturers to build more safety features into their cars. We encourage people to look carefully at crash test results and buy the safest vehicle they can afford.”

ANCAP is supported by all New Zealand and Australian motoring clubs, the New Zealand government, all Australian State governments and the FIA Foundation. The AA and NZTA are both members of ANCAP. Detailed crash test results are available on the websites of both organisations – link) or link)