Blog Archives

Five stars for new Kia

The new Kia Niro has achieved a 5 star Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) rating, which is great for New Zealand as the small SUV is launching in the Kiwi market in the new year.

Kia Niro frontal offset test at 64km/h.

The Niro comes equipped a range of safety assist technologies as standard including all three grades of autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keep assist, electronic stability control (ESC) and fatigue detection. 

However, results of the full width frontal crash test revealed that the rear passenger was poorly protected in the chest and pelvis. Crash readings indicated that the pelvis had slipped under the seatbelt and was not properly restrained. This resulted in a penalty to the crash test score.

“While overall the Kia Niro is a safe car, it’s worth looking into the details and seeing if it’s the best fit for your lifestyle and how you would use the car,” says AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks.

“Consumers now have a wide range of options, particularly in the SUV market, so they’re in a position where they can pick a safe car that works for their lifestyle and their budget.”

The 5 star rating applies to 1.6 litre hybrid and PHEV variants of the New Zealand sold Kia Niro.

The full list of ANCAP’s vehicle safety ratings, other vehicle safety information and the specifications of the rated vehicles are available online at or

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Safety rating comes with warning

ANCAP safety ratings for three new market entrants demonstrate the role in ANCAP’s independent safety testing.The Hyundai Kona and Holden Equinox both achieved the maximum 5 star safety rating. The MG ZS scored 4 stars.

Frontal offset of the Holden Equinox.

“SUVs are now the top-selling vehicle segment in Australia and New Zealand and these ratings speak clearly that some are safer than others,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, Mr James Goodwin.

“We were impressed earlier this year with the safety performance of MG’s larger GS model – the very first Chinese vehicle to achieve the top safety rating – however its smaller stablemate, the ZS, does not perform as well. Its rating is held back to 4 stars due to sub-par performance in our head-on crash test.”

The MG ZS scored 10.46 points out of 16.00 points in the frontal offset crash test. Insufficient inflation of the passenger airbag caused ‘bottoming-out’ of the dummy head through the airbag and onto the dash, and a penalty was applied.

Protection for the driver’s knee area was also insufficient. The ZS does not offer any form of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) or lane support functions.

Frontal offset of the MGZS.

In contrast one of its segment competitors, the Hyundai Kona, saw higher levels of protection offered to vehicle occupants.

“The Kona offers good all-round safety,” Mr Goodwin said.

Hyundai Kona

“Its crash test performance was well within 5 star range, and AEB is offered for all variants though it must be optioned on the base variant in Australia. AEB is, however, a standard inclusion on all New Zealand variants.”

“The Equinox is also a good structural performer in all physical crash tests, but consumers will need to opt for higher-specced variants to receive the added safety benefits of AEB and lane keep assist,” he said.

A 5 star ANCAP safety rating applies to all Hyundai Kona and Holden Equinox variants. A 4 star rating applies to all MG ZS variants.

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Kiwi X3 offers extra safety features


The newly released BMW X3 has hit the New Zealand market with a 5 star safety rating from the Australasia New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP), with a special focus on the safety of Kiwi drivers.

“The new BMW X3 offers high levels of safety for all members of the family,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, Mr James Goodwin.

Furthermore, the New Zealand version of the new SUV comes equipped with more standard safety features than both European and Australian variants.

Lane departure warning and intelligent speed assistance systems are offered as standard inclusions on Australian and New Zealand models, but New Zealand models go one step further by also offering lane keep assist, automatic high beam and adaptive cruise control as standard.

AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks says it’s fantastic to see the safety of New Zealand drivers being prioritised.

“We’re pleased BMW is offering Kiwi drivers a wide range of safety technologies as standard features, which all work to prevent crashes on our roads,” Stocks says.

“Having a wide range of vehicles with a good mix of safety technologies available in New Zealand is a key step towards improving our driving environment here.”

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Top safety rating awarded to Volvo XC60

Volvo’s mid-size XC60 SUV has been awarded the maximum five star safety rating by independent vehicle safety authority, ANCAP, attaining class-leading scores in two key areas.

“The XC60 passed the assessment achieving not only 5 stars, but taking out the highest scores to date in the areas of Adult Occupant Protection and Safety Assist,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Mr James Goodwin.

“This model is fitted as standard with an autonomous emergency braking system which operates at high and low speeds and can detect pedestrians. Performance testing of this system earned the vehicle full points. It also has an intelligent speed assistance system which uses a camera to recognise and inform the driver of the local speed limit,” Mr Goodwin said.

“High levels of protection were recorded for occupants in all four crash tests, with only the chest of the rear passenger in the full width test and the lower legs of the driver in the frontal offset test seeing points deducted. “

The XC60 scored 98% for Adult Occupant Protection and 95% for Safety Assist.

The five star ANCAP safety rating applies to all D4, D5, T5 and T6 variants.

Volvo XC60 frontal offset test at 64km/h

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ANCAP releases its own safety app

ANCAP will officially launch a new app tomorrow that will provide users with an up to date, in hand tool that can be easily used to compare vehicles safety information.

While the official launch is tomorrow, the app is free and available to download now on iOS and Android.

A screenshot of the app comparing three different models.

The app has been developed to provide a new mechanism for consumers to access ANCAP safety rating information in the lead-up to a vehicle purchase, as well as provide additional safety-related content and features to see the safer vehicles conversation continue post-purchase.

Users will be able to select from a wide range of the most commonly available models, and compare up to three different cars at once.

The app has been developed in collaboration with the NZTA, AA New Zealand and a number of Australian road safety and automotive agencies.

“The road toll is increasing so we must work harder and do more to see this reversed. The ‘ANCAP Safety’ app will assist consumers make safer vehicle choices in an effort to reduce road trauma,” the agency said in a statement today.

ANCAP is Australasia’s leading independent vehicle safety advocate and provides consumers with advice and information on the vehicle safety.

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2017 car safety guide released

AA has published their User Car Safety Ratings guide, updated for 2017.

Released today, the guide is the result of in-depth analysis by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) of real-world crash data collected in both New Zealand and Australia.

The guide is updated annually and now provides safety ratings on 279 used vehicles built between 1986 and 2015. This year, it lists 106 of them as good or excellent, and a further 113 are categorised as poor or very poor. 60 are considered marginal.

Ahead of the general election on 23 September, the AA is calling for vehicle safety information to be provided at the point of sale, similar to fuel economy information already available.

The Ford Mondeo is one of the AA’s picks for superior safety features.

AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks says New Zealand has a huge second-hand car market, and that the average age of used imports is increasing.

“This means the gap between the safety performance of used and new cars is widening.”

Stocks says that for many motorists the safety difference between cars is not immediately apparent, and there are important distinctions that consumer should have easy access to.

“Motorists, especially people buying cars for the first time, can easily be overwhelmed by what is available and can find it difficult to work out which factors they should consider most.”

Many of the poorest performing vehicles are often driven by novice drivers who are more likely to be involved in a crash.

Ministry of Transport data shows younger drivers are seven times more likely to crash than those with more experience behind the wheel.

Ms Stocks says while younger drivers will often have more modest budgets, they need the best protection.

“The guide shows which cars are the safest across all categories, which is why we want the information available at the point of sale. It enables buyers to consider safety performance of one vehicle against another before they get behind the wheel.

“Buyers can’t make the right choice without the right information.”

New car crash test results are provided by the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP).

The work conducted by MUARC show that a driver of the worst-rated vehicle is more than 10 times as likely to be killed or seriously injured in the same crash as a driver in the best-rated vehicle.

Used Car Safety Ratings can be found on the AA’s website.

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G10 gets 3-star rating

Independent vehicle safety authority, ANCAP, has released a 3 star safety rating for the LDV G10 commercial van and people mover.

The Chinese-manufactured G10 is the second LDV model tested by ANCAP to offer a below-par level of structural safety and safety specification.

“This is a disappointing result for LDV and consumers with commercial buyers and families being let down in an important segment,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, James Goodwin.

“There were a number of serious concerns with the G10’s structural performance with the driver footwell rupturing and excessive pedal movement. Steering column and dash components were also a potential source of knee injury for the driver and passenger.”

“The G10 also lacks important safety features such as head- and chest-protecting side airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners which consumers today expect to be provided as standard – particularly in a vehicle which can carry up to nine passengers.”

“The safety standards of passenger and commercial vans remains well below those offered in other segments with 67 per cent of vans rated by ANCAP holding a rating of four stars or less so we urge all brands to ensure an emphasis on safety carries across all market segments”.

The 3 star rating for the LDV G10 applies to all petrol and diesel van and people mover variants sold in Australia and New Zealand from mid 2015.

  • The tested model of LDV G10 van was introduced in Australia and New Zealand in 2015. This ANCAP safety rating applies to all petrol and diesel van variants. A separate rating is available for G10 people mover variants.
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Land Rover Discovery awarded 5 stars

The latest Land Rover Discovery has achieved a 5 star ANCAP safety rating across all its diesel variants.

The large SUV not only performed strongly in adult and child occupant protection in the event of a crash, but also earning good results for pedestrian protection.

“While we expect a vehicle of this size to do well in terms of occupant safety, it’s great to see Land Rover adding safety features like Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) for vulnerable road users as standard,” says AA motoring services general manager Stella Stocks.

“This helps protect pedestrians and cyclists by aiming to stop the vehicle before a crash can happen, helping to make our roads safer for everyone on them.”

In addition to AEB the Discovery comes with lane departure warning, which alerts the driver when the vehicle begins to move out of its lane, and reversing collision avoidance systems. Not included in New Zealand variants is intelligent speed limiting (ISA) and speed sign recognition and warning, but they are on European models.

“While the New Zealand variant of the Discovery is a good, safe car, we still urge manufacturers to give New Zealand motorists the same level of consideration when it comes to safety as our European counterparts,” says Stocks.
While the Discovery did well across the crash tests there was however insufficient pressure in the driver’s airbag which saw the dummy’s head hit the steering wheel and a penalty was applied in the scoring.

“Manufacturers are definitely coming on board to do their part in the safety stakes. Now we need drivers to do the same by ensuring safety is prioritised right up there with price when buying their next car,” says Stocks.

The Large SUV, which went on sale in New Zealand in May and launches in Australia this week, boasts strong scores in each of the four areas of safety assessment achieving 90 per cent for Adult Occupant Protection, 80 per cent for Child Occupant Protection, 75 per cent for Pedestrian Protection and a Safety Assist score of 73 per cent. 

“The Discovery earned its 5 star safety rating showing strengths in structure, design and equipment,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Mr James Goodwin.

“Crash test dummy readings indicated good levels of protection of all critical body regions in the side impact test as well as the more severe side pole test. Protection of the knees and femurs for both the driver and passenger in the frontal offset test was also good,”

This 5 star ANCAP safety rating applies to all Australian and New Zealand variants. The previous generation Discovery was unrated.

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5-star ANCAP rating for Euro cars

Skoda Kodiaq frontal offset test

A range of European vehicles have been awarded 5-star ANCAP safety ratings – the Skoda Kodiaq, Audi Q5, MINI Countryman and the Audi Q2.

All four cars come with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) as standard, and drivers and passenger safety scored highly in the tests, although there was some variance in results when it came to child protection.

“Depending on what the main use of your car is, sometimes it’s worth drilling down into the detail behind the rating to ensure it ticks the boxes you want it to, and for the best price, ” said AA general manager Stella Stocks.

“The Kodiaq has been assessed against the latest criteria offering a range of important safety technologies as standard including autonomous emergency braking, multi-collision braking and speed limiter,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, James Goodwin.

The top rating, applicable to all 4×4 variants, comes as the SUV is due to reach the New Zealand market.

The Audi Q5 5-star rating applies to all Q5 and SQ5 model variants.

“It has an advanced autonomous emergency braking system which operates at city and highway speeds, with the added ability to detect and assist in avoiding pedestrians up to a speed of 85km/h,” Goodwin said.

The Audi Q2, launched in February, was also tested, and received a 5-star rating, which applies to all variants.

“It’s worth noting that Audi has released a higher standard safety specification version of the Q2 in New Zealand than in Australia, which may make it slightly more expensive, but better value for buyers in the long run,” said Stocks.

The New Zealand release of the Q2 contains features that are optional in Australia but standard herem including blind spot monitoring, hill launch assist, speed assistance – speed sign recognition and warning, following distance warning, reverse collision avoidance, and trailer stability control.

Finally, the new MINI Countryman, which launched in New Zealand in March, has beaten the previous model’s 4-star rating with a top grade.

“Not only has Mini improved on the structural performance of the Countryman – they’re offering the highest level of safety assist features seen from the brand with autonomous emergency braking including pedestrian detection, and a speed sign recognition and warning system,” said Goodwin.

“Consumers should be buoyed by these ratings which show brands are keeping pace with increasing safety standards.”

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5-star ANCAP rating for Subaru XV, Holden Astra

The Holden Astra mid-test

The Subaru XV and Holden Astra have both earned 5-star safety ratings from Australasian watchdog ANCAP, with the Subaru’s pedestrian protection scoring particularly high.  

“It’s good to see more and more vehicles entering our national fleet that take into account the safety of all our different road users,” says AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks.

“The Astra sedan and XV offer high levels of protection to occupants across a variety of crash scenarios including frontal, side and rear-end crashes,” said ANCAP CEO James Goodwin.

Testing will be more rigorous next year and include a requirement for vehicles to include autonomous engine braking (AEB) in order to receive five stars. AEB prevents crashes by automatically engaging the brakes when it senses a hazard in close range.

While AEB is a standard option on the three higher XV models, it’s unavailable on the entry-level variant. The Astra sedan lacked any AEB option across the model range. 

“Both cars would make safe family vehicles and come with a fair amount of safety assist technologies, but we would have liked to see AEB at least as an option on higher variants of the Astra,” Stocks said.

“Manufacturers will need to start including AEB as standard sooner rather than later as rating requirements become more stringent next year,” she added.

The 5 star ratings apply to all sedan variants of the Holden Astra and all variants of the Subaru XV.

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ANCAP for Great Wall

Four vehicles have been rated by safety watchdog ANCAP, with the Great Wall Steed ute scoring the lowest marks at two stars.

Stella Stocks, general manager of motoring services at AA, told Auofile it’s very disappointing that two-star vehicles are sold new in New Zealand.

“The biggest issue for AA is that two-star vehicles can still come in to the country and be sold new. People need to buy the safest vehicle they can afford, and they should check out all the safety features and the ANCAP rating and the areas of concern in the vehicle before they buy.

“Most cars and many utes have five stars, and they are in the secondhand market,” she says.

ANCAP CEO James Goodwin also found the results disappointing. “Despite claims from the vehicle brand that the Chinese dual cab is ‘all-new’ and offers ‘outstanding levels of performance, value, safety and comfort,’ the underpinnings of the Steed differ little to that of the previous generation,” he says.

“While Great Wall Motors has added safety assist technology not available on its earlier offering to the market, the Steed’s structural integrity is like a step back in time,” Stocks added.

“In new cars today we expect to see a very high standard of occupant protection during a crash test. However, the Steed doesn’t come close to meeting that expectation.”

The previous-generation V240 ute also received a two-star rating when it was tested in 2009. The model was discontinued in 2016.

The dual-cab Steed was released in September last year after a new distributor took over from independent importer Ateco Automotive in July 2016.

“While the Steed is equipped with six airbags and electronic stability control, features which were not offered on the previous model, there has been little change to the vehicle’s structure to improve the safety of the passenger cabin,” Goodwin added.

Concerning results from ANCAP included excessive footwell deformation, separation of footwell panels and pedal displacement in the frontal offset crash test, which scored 8.3 out of 16.

Driver and front passenger protection from whiplash was rated marginal, and ANCAP warned that without top-tether child restraints, the ute was unsuitable for transporting young children.

However, three other vehicles received five-star ratings – The Honda Civic sedan and hatch, the Hyundai i30 (and all variants) and the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo Activity van.

The five-star rating applies to all variants of the Honda Civic sedan, with the hatch to be released locally in May. The Type R is the exception and is unrated.

The top rating for the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo Activity applies to all models built from January 2017.

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