Starry or­bit

A COTY con­tender tops the lat­est round of crash test­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - STU­ART MARTIN stu­art.martin@cars­

THE Aus­tralian New Car As­sess­ment Pro­gram has awarded five-star re­sults for four SUVs and a small car.

The top rat­ings go to the Korean cousins, Kia’s Sorento — aCars­guide Car of the Year fi­nal­ist— and the Hyundai Santa Fe, In­finiti’s FX, Mit­subishi’s Out­lander and the Citroen DS4.

For those who are hit­ting the deal­er­ships be­fore hit­ting the road at Christ­mas, I urge you to look for a car which has been awarded the max­i­mum five-star AN­CAP safety rat­ing,’’ pro­gram chair­man Lauch­lan McIn­tosh says.

This year the road safety pro­gram has de­liv­ered safety rat­ings for 48 new ve­hi­cles, 39 achiev­ing five stars.

Eight ve­hi­cles rated four stars and one, the Mahin­dra Pik-Up, scored three.

Twenty years (ago) . . . we had no five-star cars, then a decade ago we had our first five-star car. It’s a big win for con­sumers,’’ McIn­tosh says.

The rat­ings have be­come pro­gres­sively tougher.

Sta­bil­ity con­trol and other safety features must be stan­dard to achieve the cov­eted five stars.

We still have a lot to do to make sure we don’t get com­pla­cent,’’ he says. ‘‘ The fleet moves to only buy fives­tar cars has done a lot— BHP and government fleets among them. It’s been a good shift in think­ing.’’

Im­proved ac­tive and pas­sive safety features have been crit­i­cal in re­duc­ing the road toll.

Last year 1277 Aus­tralians died on the roads in 2011, the na­tion’s low­est toll since 1946.

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