Two vehicles have taken top billing as the safest available on the Kiwi market at the 2015 New Zealand Car of the Year awards on Wednesday.
Both the Hyundai Genesis sedan and the Volvo XC90 SUV have been named as the safest cars on the New Zealand market today.
Typically a single car is named as New Zealand’s safest car at the awards based on crash test performance through the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP).
However, ANCAP is working towards aligning its crash test and assessment protocols with Euro NCAP, which has a different analysis process. Prior to 2015, results from Euro NCAP crash tests were reanalysed through ANCAP protocols to provide a star rating.
During the transition period, Euro NCAP results will be published by ANCAP as they are presented. Because there are differences in the protocols, direct comparisons between the two systems are difficult when the results are very close.
AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks says the Hyundai Genesis produced the highest ever crash test performance recorded by ANCAP with a near perfect score. Pedestrian protection was also rated as acceptable by ANCAP.
“With the Genesis, Hyundai has presented the luxury market with a 5 star car that goes well above what is expected to achieve the rating,” Ms Stocks says.
“Alongside it’s near perfect crash test performance, the Genesis has a large suite of safety assist technologies as standard. This means that while there is excellent occupant protection in the event of a crash, Hyundai has done its best to assist with avoiding that happening at all.”
Autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a lane support system, emergency brake assist and tyre pressure monitoring are just some of the systems on board the Genesis to assist with avoiding a crash.
The diesel variant of the Volvo XC90 also performed equally well in its crash test, pedestrian protection and boasts an impressive list of safety assist technologies as standard.
“Volvo is proving that while SUVs are generally considered safer than many other cars for occupant protection, they’re also good at keeping those around them safe as well,” Ms Stocks says.
“Vehicle manufacturers today take safety very seriously and very often are going far beyond what is required of them to achieve a 5 star safety rating either with ANCAP or Euro NCAP.
“We’re also seeing the bar lifted on all classes of vehicles including utes, which often double as family cars on the weekends.”
Ms Stocks says the Hyundai Genesis and Volvo XC90 offer a glimpse of safety assist technologies she would like to see as standard on all new cars soon.
“The technology developed for these cars is designed to save lives and consumers are starting to expect even more from car makers today on that front.”