Alfa’s in with a bang
The Giulietta impresses with safety, writes Paul Gover
THE recently arrived Alfa Giulietta was one of the stars of crash testing in Europe last year.
The gorgeous new Alfa coupe was the top scorer in its class during Euro NCAP testing, sharing honours for 2010 with the Honda CR-Z hybrid, Kia Sportage, BMW 5 Series and Toyota Verso.
Only one of the top five — the Yaris-based Verso, a baby people mover — will not be bringing its safety success to Australia.
The Sportage and 5 Series were top-10 cars in last year’s cars Guide Car of the Year contest and the CR-Z is on this year’s launch program for Honda Australia in 2011.
But the overall results for Euro NCAP last year showed a 25 per cent reduction in the number of five-star cars, as the organisation lifts the bar on safety.
It is also testing electronic stability control, which is now mandatory on all cars sold in Victoria.
Euro NCAP’s top five all scored the usual five-star safety rating that is becoming the defacto standard for the car industry, then also scored well for whiplash protection, on board child safety and pedestrian safety.
Other top crash-test performers sold in Australia include the Suzuki Swift, BMW X1 and Citroen C4. They exceeded 80 per cent in overall scoring.
The worst results were achieved by two vehicles not sold in Australia — the three-star Citroen Nemo and twostar Landwind CV9 SUV from China.
Last year, Euro NCAP crash tested 29 vehicles, with the results transferred to Australia in addition to local NCAP testing.
Tough tests: aBMW5 Series (above) in a front-on crash and (right) an Alfa Romeo Giulietta shudders during a pole smash.