Alfa’s in with a bang

The Gi­uli­etta im­presses with safety, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

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.

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