The upcoming Subaru Impreza WRX has earned top marks for safety from Australasian New Car Assessment Programme chairman (ANCAP) Lauchlan McIntosh.
In particular, McIntosh praised the Japanese carmaker for improving pedestrian protection in the new go-fast WRX, which will be launched in New Zealand next week.
“Subaru has again ensured its policy to build nothing less than five-star cars is retained with the new Subaru WRX,” McIntosh said in announcing the latest round of ANCAP crash-safety tests.
“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,” McIntosh said.
But he criticised carmakers for holding back on new safety technology ANCAP believes should be made available.?”
“Consumers are now spoiled for choice with the number of five-star models on the market and ANCAP continues to push the boundaries by making it more difficult each year to achieve the top rating,” McIntosh said.
“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.”
These included smart braking systems that could minimise or completely avoid a low-speed crash with the vehicle in front, cyclists or pedestrians – “an important safety feature that is now common on popular vehicles in Europe and the USA,” McIntosh said.
None of the cars tested in ANCAP’s latest round were equipped with
the emergency braking systems. The Euro NCAP assessment body tests such autonomous functions and ANCAP is looking to set up a similar programme.
Euro NCAP has tested nine different smart braking systems. It rates the one developed for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class as the best. The worst, it says, is the Honda Civic’s – it doesn’t avoid a collision, it only reduces the severity of it.
Latest five-star safety recipients:
• Subaru Impreza WRX
• Toyota Corolla sedan
• Peugeot 5008 (not available in NZ)
• ANCAP is supported by the NZ government and NZ motoring clubs.