AUSTRALIAN-BUILT fami ly sedans f rom Toyota — not Holden — have topped the list of locally manufactured fivestar cars in used-car crash safety ratings released today.
The Roya l Automob i l e Association of South Australia Used Car Safety Ratings awarded the VE Commodore three stars.
He ad of te c h n ic a l and automotive services Mark Borlace says the Commodore family’s rating, including the current ANCAP fivestar rated VE, could be down to its size and equipment list.
“There was a period when the four-star rating was due to a lack of ESP as standard, and because the Commodore is heavier than average it probably infl icts a fair bit of damage on smaller cars if it hits them,’’ he says.
Monash University’s Accident Research Centre (MUARC) crash survey awarded fi ve stars to the Camry and Aurion on models built from 2006 until 2008.
The 1999-2002 Ford Fairlane/ LTD, Holden’s Statesman/ Caprice and the 2003-2005 Mitsubishi Magna/ Verada lineups all rated four stars.
Three-star ratings were also awarded to the 2002-2008 BA/ BF Ford Falcon, the Holden Statesman/Caprice range from 1994-1998 and the 2002-2007 Commodore VY/ VZ range.
Borlace says the used-car ratings are an excellent way to help motorists, particularly parents and their teenage children, buy a safer used vehicle, because they are based on data from real crashes.
“ What we’re starting to see is reasonable protection being given in cars that kids can now afford. The Golf, for example — they’ve featured well in the past few years and are still going well in the $ 3000-$4000 range. We want to help address the fi rst-car thing,’’ he says.
Borlace says many parents “co-buy’’ cars with their children and the association aims to make this list a useful tool in that purchase.
“Kids want something sexy and parents want something safe.
“ What we’re hoping to provide with this list is that they’ll find something sexy enough for the kids to live with and safe enough for the parents to feel as if it’s an investment,’’ he says.
The results suggest smaller cars have improved in recent years, with the 1996-2000 Volkswagen Polo scoring five stars and the 2005-2008 Holden Barina four stars.
“ This report dispels the myth older, heavier cars are safer than light, small ones, and proves vehicles built with safety in mind offer the best protection,’’ Borlace says.
The results show that, except light-commercial utes, every vehicle class has at least one vehicle with an “excellent’’ fi vestar rating. Of the 199 vehicles examined, more than a third were rated “good” or “excellent”.
“Over the next few years we’ll really be targeting young people, hoping they will get into the safety habit and get used to buying a car with an airbag,’’ Borlace says.
The survey rates occupant safety, as wel l as how other road users (cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and other drivers) are affected in a crash.