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ANCAP announces latest five star safety ratings

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has announced its latest safety ratings for three vehicles available on the Australian market.

In a January 28 media statement, ANCAP revealed that the current model Honda Jazz had achieved the rating based on a number of physical crash tests conducted by the authority and sister program, Malaysian-based South East Asian New Car Assessment Program (ASEAN NCAP).

ANCAP was also impressed with the features available on every Jazz model sold after July 2014. This included emergency stop signal, emergency brake assist, reversing collision avoidance and electronic stability control.

Chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said that the authority had shared information with EURO NCAP for 15 years, but it now hopes the same relationship can form between ANCAP and ASEAN NCAP.

"ANCAP's use of ASEAN NCAP data from the 64km/h frontal offset crash test [for the Honda Jazz] is testament to the quality and professionalism of the ASEAN NCAP program," he said.

"This reciprocal data sharing relationship will no doubt continue as we start to see more vehicles enter the Australasian market from Southeast Asian manufacturers and manufacturing plants."

Hyundai Sonata

A week after the Honda Jazz announcement, ANCAP revealed a pair of results. The first one associated with the Hyundai Sonata which also achieved a five star safety rating.

Also tested under the stricter 2015 standards, the Sonata continued Hyundai's fine run with safety.

"The new Sonata brings excellent all-round safety to our market having cleared the higher hurdles demanded by our 2015 assessment requirements," Mr McIntosh said in a note.

It is important to report that the Hyundai Sonata doesn't feature autonomous emergency braking (AEB) which was featured on the Genesis model. However, National Roads and Motorists' Association vehicle safety expert Jack Haley explained that the vehicle still met minimum standards.

"The Sonata met the 2015 ANCAP standard of having a minimum of five life-saving technologies included," he said.

Suzuki Celerio

However, the news wasn't as good for the Suzuki Celerio which scored a surprise four star safety rating.

The Suzuki Celerio is equipped with head-protecting side curtain airbags as well as seat belt reminders for all occupants. These are features that are not included in the European-sold model.

Side curtain airbags, in particular, are vital for reducing the risk of serious head injuries in impacts. Mr McIntosh welcomed this move and credited Suzuki for their safety considerations.

"ANCAP is pleased to see that Suzuki Australia have made the decision to provide Australian and New Zealand consumers with a car which has these additional safety features," he said in a February 5 media statement.

"ANCAP has put pressure on manufacturers to include head-protecting side airbags for many years, introducing this as a mandatory 5 star requirement in 2004."

While the Suzuki Celerio got off to a perfect start, the model didn't feature enough safety assist technologies to be eligible for a pole test or to receive five stars. To achieve five stars, all vehicles must pass the pole test which runs the model into a steel post, lined up to the driver's head, at 29 km/h.

"We are happy Suzuki has responded, even though the Celerio's list of safety features did not meet ANCAP's requirements for 5-stars," Mr Haley stated.

Tips for buying a vehicle

ANCAP hopes to provide accurate information for consumers who are in the market for a new vehicle. Purchasers also need to ensure that they have CTP green slip and comprehensive insurance in place before taking delivery of a new vehicle. Information on the difference between CTP green slips and comprehensive insurance is available on this website.