Rating accidental heroes
Monash Uni’s team has delivered its verdict on the year’s top used cars, writes STEPHEN OTTLEY
TWENTY- SIX cars have earned top marks in the annual Used Car Safety Rating survey. The figures, released this week, show that of 349 vehicles tested there were 26 deemed to have performed ‘‘significantly better than average’’.
The ratings are produced by the Monash University Accident Re- search Centre (MUARC) with help from the RACV, TAC and VicRoads.
The ratings are based on the MUARC team’s analysis of more than 3.2 million car crashes in Australia and New Zealand between 1986 and 2006.
That means that unlike the ANCAP testing, which is done under control conditions in a special test- ing facility, the Used Car Safety Ratings are based on real world accidents.
The survey rates vehicles in five marks: significantly better than average; better than average; average; worse than average; and significantly worse than average.
The ratings expose the myth that larger cars are safer in an accident with bigger cars putting occupants at a greater risk of serious injury in an accident.
Small and medium sized cars fared the best with the smallest category offering up nine cars with the eight medium sized cars pulling the top result.
Once again large cars fared the worst with only the 2002-06 Holden Commodore awarded the significantly better than average honour.
The Subaru Forester 1997-2002 model was the best performer outright in the survey, just ahead of another compact four-wheel-driver, the 1997-2001 Honda CR-V.
Light cars fared badly with none achieving the top rating and only three scoring a better than average mark.
Also performing poorly were commercial vehicles, both vans and utes. Only the Ford Transit van scored better than average across the two categories.