The 2012 NZ Car of the Year is the latest recipient of a 5 star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP).
All variants of the Toyota 86, which became the NZ Car of the Year in December after it was also named the sports/performance car of the year by the AA and NZ Motoring Writers Guild, have received the maximum safety rating from ANCAP.
The 86’s available safety features include emergency brake assist (EBA), adaptive cruise control (ACC) and daytime running lights.
AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks says the Toyota 86 is a good example of a manufacturer pulling together all the elements to ensure what is offered is safe but sexy.
“It just goes to show that injecting safety elements into a car doesn’t take away from what some car buyers prefer to focus on,” Ms Stocks says.
“There are a lot of boxes to tick to achieve a 5 star ANCAP safety rating. Ultimately we’re testing cars by crashing them into something solid and all the technology the manufacturer has provided has to come together to minimise injury to the people inside.”
NZTA Access and Use Group Manager Celia Patrick said the NZTA was working to improve the safety of New Zealand’s vehicle fleet as part of the Government’s Safer Journeys strategy and it was great news that the range of top safety-rated cars was continuing to grow.
"Crash statistics show that occupants of 4 or 5 star-rated vehicles are much less likely to receive life-threatening injuries in a crash than occupants of lower rated vehicles.
“With today's safety technology 5 star ratings are increasingly become the norm and we urge people to buy the safest vehicle they can afford.”
The 86’s sister car, the Subaru BRZ, also holds a 5 star ANCAP safety rating.
Two other completely different car types have also received 5 star ANCAP safety ratings. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Land Rover’s Range Rover have picked up the maximum safety rating.
The new A-Class hatch offers advanced Safety Assist Technology (SAT) of collision prevention assist as standard. This provides the driver with a visual and audible collision warning providing more reaction time ahead of an imminent crash.
Also standard on the A-Class is an ‘active’ bonnet. This is activated when sensors detect a pedestrian has been struck and provides greater clearance between the bonnet and hard elements of the engine beneath, reducing the risk of serious head injury.
Adding to the 15 large SUVs which already hold a 5 star ANCAP safety rating is the V6 Range Rover. The V8 Range Rover remains unrated.
ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, all Australian state governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.
The full list of ANCAP’s vehicle safety ratings, other vehicle safety information and the specifications of the rated vehicles are available online at aa.co.nz(external link) or rightcar.govt.nz(external link)