More vehicles achieving top safety rating status


The Automobile Association and the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) are pleased to announce that four more vehicles have achieved five star safety ratings following the latest round of Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) crash testing.

The Toyota Highlander 4WD, Citroen C5, Renault Koleos and Mercedes M Class (with knee airbag) all scored the top five star safety rating for occupant protection.

AA General Manager Technical, Stella Stocks says that these results indicate that the safety of vehicle occupants has become paramount and leading manufacturers are investing in the necessary safety features for new cars.

“A five star safety rating for occupants is no longer unattainable, so it is disappointing to see there are still new cars coming onto the market that are only scoring a 3-star rating.”

Safety ratings for a range of other vehicles available on the New Zealand market were also released today, including: VW Caddy Van (4 stars with side airbags); Holden Colorado 2-wheel drive (3 stars); Holden Colorado 4-wheel drive (3 stars); Holden Epica (4 stars); and Hyundai Getz 1.6 SX 5-door (4 stars with Protectz safety pack, 3 stars without).

NZTA Vehicles Manager Don Hutchinson says it is encouraging that more popular vehicle models have scored top safety ratings.

 “A five-star rating requires additional safety features such as electronic stability control and head-protecting side airbags.  The more cars with these features on New Zealand roads the better.

“The whole purpose of ANCAP crash testing is to increase consumer demand for safety and encourage car manufacturers to meet that demand. Results like this are great news and demonstrate the value of crash testing programmes.”

Ms Stocks said that while the trend towards higher occupant protection ratings was pleasing, many vehicles still scored poorly in separate ratings measuring the likelihood of injury to pedestrians struck by the vehicles.

“The Toyota Highlander is an example of a car that scored the top safety rating for occupants, but scored poorly in the pedestrian safety rating.  Improvements still need to be made in this area,” says Ms Stocks.

The five star awarded Highlander, a family 4 wheel drive, provides a range of safety features as standard right across its range, including dual front airbags, side airbags, head-protecting curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, electronic stability control, a rear view camera and seat belt reminders. 

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).