SCORES

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Say -

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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.

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