Good, but must try harder, is the message following the latest release of Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) safety ratings.
Both the Nissan Qashqai SUV and Mercedes-Benz C-class sedan have received a 5 star ANCAP safety rating, while the Ssangyong Stavic two-wheel drive seven-seat people mover failed to shine in the offset frontal crash test and received a 4 star safety rating.
Marginal occupant protection was a feature for the Sangyong Stavic in its crash test.
ANCAP states the passenger compartment lost structural integrity during the crash test and brake pedal movement was excessive. Dash components were a potential source of knee injury for the front seat passenger.
AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks says there is no excuse for manufacturers to design and build less safe vehicles.
“Consumers should expect more from manufacturers than what the Stavic offers and I hope we’ll see some improvement in the next model and inclusion of head-protecting curtain airbags in the current model soon.”
The Nissan Qashqai performed strongly across the board and includes dual frontal and curtain airbags, antilock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD) and electronic stability control (ESC) as standard.
However, life-saving autonomous emergency braking (AEB), which is available on the European-sold Qashqai models is not available on any New Zealand-sold model.
Ms Stocks says it makes little sense AEB to be omitted from the New Zealand market.
“This technology can save lives by helping to prevent crashes and I’m not sure why we’re missing out in New Zealand when it is available on European versions of the Qashqai,” Ms Stocks says.
However, safety assist technologies (SATs) that are standard on the Qashqai include hill launch assist, reversing collision avoidance and lane support (on some variants).
The Mercedes-Benz C-class also boasts a range of SATs that includes AEB and an ‘active’ bonnet for improved pedestrian head protection.
ANCAP is supported by all Australian motoring clubs, the New Zealand Automobile Association, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, Australian state and territory governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.