Rat­ing ac­ci­den­tal he­roes

Monash Uni’s team has de­liv­ered its ver­dict on the year’s top used cars, writes STEPHEN OT­T­LEY

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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.

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