When purchasing a new car, choosing a safe vehicle for you and your family is very important. On NSW roads, 180 people have lost their lives this year. This is a 5 per cent increase on the number of fatalities at this stage last year.
To assist in the process, Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has been crash testing vehicles since 1993. In that time, more than 400 vehicles have been tested with a select few achieving the coveted five star safety rating.
ANCAP made its latest announcement on July 14, adding two vehicles to its prestigious list, while another model fell just short of the mark.
According to ANCAP, the Nissan Qashqai and Mercedes-Benz C-Class both achieved a high level of performance during testing.
Nissan Qashqai performance
The Nissan Qashqai, previously known as the Dualis, is a compact SUV that comes in petrol and diesel variants. Both versions met the high standard, however, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) believes adding a simple safety feature could have made the experience much better.
"Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is available on the European-sold Qashqai yet it is not available at all on Australian and New Zealand models," DPTI Executive Director, Road Safety Registration and Licencing, Julie Holmes said.
"It is astounding to see yet another mainstream manufacturer despecify their models for our local market. The lack of AEB cannot be a matter of cost as it is available on other inexpensive cars."
Recent research indicated that AEB is a life-saver which suggests all manufacturers should include this technology on all variants. It is important to remember that the Qashqai still met the five star safety rating.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class reaction
In contract to the Qashqai, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class features full AEB and a number of other safetyfeatures. Based on an excellent crash test performance, all models in the C-Class range gain the five star safety rating.
One particular feature of note is the "active bonnet". In the event of a collision with a pedestrian, the bonnet rises up reducing the risk of injury to anyone who impacts the bonnet.
The bonnet lifts by 50mm in a fraction of a second to increase the deformation space and aims to save lives.
Room for improvement for Ssangyong Stavic
One vehicle that failed to meet ANCAP's high standards was the Ssangyong Stavic.
RAA Senior Manager Mobility and Automotive Policy, Mark Borlace said the updated seven-seater people mover falls short of what motorists expect and explained why.
"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," he stated.
"Results from the frontal offset test of the Stavic showed chest and upper and lower leg injuries were likely for the driver. Structural integrity was lost at the lower A-pillar and movement of the brake pedal was excessive."
Requirements for a new vehicle
On top of investigating the ANCAP safety rating on any vehicle you wish to purchase, it is also important to address the legal requirements of the new vehicle.
CTP insurance or greenslip is just one of the many costs that you must pay once the vehicle is purchased. This also includes stamp duty and registration.
It pays to shop around for the best green slip policy among insurers.