Safety in small package
Being small doesn’t mean safety is compromised, writes PAUL GOVER
THE world’s smallest cars can still do the business on safety. Toyota has proved it with a maximum five-star rating for its tiny iQ in the latest Euro NCAP safety tests.
The iQ matched the five-star success of a some much bigger cars, including the latest Mazda6 and Mitsubishi Lancer.
But, surprisingly, Australia’s fivestar Subaru Impreza got only four stars in the European testing. As a result, Subaru — and Mitsubishi — have made a greater commitment to electronic stability control.
Euro NCAP requires stability control to be standard on 85 per cent of volume sellers in any model, and an option on every model, though this is a step back from Australia’s NCAP decision that only cars with standard stability control can get five stars in 2009.
The other car in the latest Euro NCAP testing is the Citroen C3 Picasso, which got four stars. The trials included the latest test for rear impact, which measures whiplash.
Euro NCAP forecasts tougher requirements in coming years.
‘‘Euro NCAP wants to make sure safety remains a top priority,’’ Euro NCAP general secretary Michiel van Ratinger says. ‘‘Not prioritising safety is a false economy. Manufacturers who remain committed to safety will be justly rewarded with a good overall rating.’’
Latest research shows the economic cost of damage caused by traffic accidents in Europe in 2007 was more than $500 billion, or about 2 per cent of the gross national product of the European Union.