Corolla, 5008, WRX gain crash-test gongs

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A NEW generation of one of Australia’s best-selling cars has earned a top five-star crash rating from the nation’s vehicle safety watchdog.

The result applies to the Thai-built Toyota Corolla sedan that was introduced in January, following a similar five-star result that the Japanese-made hatchback achieved in October 2012.

However, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) used the opportunity to take a swipe at car-makers for holding back on new safety technology it believes should be made available.

"Consumers are now spoiled for choice with the number of 5 star models on the market and ANCAP continues to push the boundaries by making it more difficult each year to achieve the top rating," ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said while announcing the result. "In recent years we've seen manufacturers achieve vastly improved results with the majority of major brands now building to five-star standards.

“What we want to see now is manufacturers which strive beyond the requirements – offering even higher levels of structural and active safety to consumers."

Peugeot’s 5008 people-mover and Subaru’s latest firebrand sedan, the WRX, also scored the top rating, with Subaru in particular singled out for praise over its advances made to the next-generation ‘Rex in terms of the protection it offered to the road’s most vulnerable users, pedestrians.

“Subaru has again ensured its policy to build nothing less than five-star cars is retained with the new Subaru WRX,” ANCAP said in a statement announcing the results.

“The WRX joins a small group of current models that have achieved the top pedestrian protection result of 'Good' – a step above the current minimum five-star standard of 'Acceptable'.”

"This is the direction in which we want to see manufacturers heading," Mr McIntosh said.

ANCAP said none of the cars tested, though, featured smart braking systems that could minimise or completely avoid a low-speed crash with the vehicle in front, cyclists or pedestrians.

“Unfortunately none of the models in today's release are equipped with autonomous emergency braking – an important safety feature that is now common on popular vehicles in Europe and the USA,” it said.

ANCAP is currently planning on a standard test for assessing how well autonomous braking systems work, similar to one already set in place by Euro NCAP.

The Euro NCAP assessment program has only sampled nine different systems launched on the market internationally, with the one developed for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class earning the best rating so far, and the Honda Civic’s the worst after it was assessed as only reducing the severity of a collision rather than avoiding it.

To see more about the MY15 WRX and its safety and performance features, head over to MRT's YouTube channel for more comprehensive updates.

By Barry Park
www.goauto.com.au

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