What is the safest new car in Australia? This question has become very difficult to answer, with ANCAP and Euro NCAP regulations moving the goalposts and almost every new car boasting a five star safety rating, with only the occasional four or three.
Even Chinese automakers have lifted their game, with vehicles such as the MG GS, ZS and LDV T60 all comfortably enjoy membership in the five star ANCAP club. Even though most cars now enjoy a five star crash rating, they are tested against staitonary objects and Isaac Newton’s third law of motion (F=ma) dictates that force is equal to mass x acceleration, so a larger, heavier vehicle is generally better off. There’s nothing in it now though, with high strength steel increasing with every new generation of cars. New inclusions such as autonomous emergency braking and active safety systems are increasingly becoming mandatory too. Integration with child restrains and ISOFIX anchorage points are ensuring that your precious cargo is well looked after.
These cars were selected for not only their high numerical crash test score, but also their newness, to give you the best idea of the safest new cars available at the moment.
Volvo’s reinvigorated range comes thanks to owner Geely’s massive investment giving the cars not only style and technologically advanced new platforms, but allowing them to continue their safety quest of no fatalities by 2020. Volvo is synonymous with safety, with the new range benefitting from the latest structural research, driver fatigue monitoring and semi-autonomous features such as cruise control and meticulously designed crash dynamics.
BMW 5 Series
Benefitting from BMW’s CLAR ( Cluster Architecture) the BMW G30 5 Series is remarkable not just in the way it can be summoned by a smart key and its new design, but new levels of safety thanks to extensive use of aluminium and high tensile materials in the structure. The 5 Series was chosen here because it is currently BMW’s newest car, benefitting from the latest structural analysis for crash performance and the most autonomous features in the range. Upcoming models, including the 2018 BMW 3 Series (link to mid size top 10) will benefit from lessons learnt developing the G30 5 Series.
When it was first tested by ANCAP, the Hyundai Genesis -as it was then known- set new standards for occupant protection with the highest numerical score of any car tested up to that point. Hyundai’s first foray into the luxury class is about to get a refresh and a rebrand as the Genesis G80- the midsize luxury car in a three-tier sedan lineup with SUVs sure to join soon.
The fifth-generation E-Class not only resets the benchmark for style, technology and plushness, but as you’d expect, safety was high on the agenda during the car’s development. Even second-hand E-Classes dating back to 2002 are backed as safe used car pics, reflecting the brand’s commitment to being at the forefront of safety.
The switch to a fully-imported Toyota Camry benefits from the brand’s new TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture), meaning new levels of body stiffness and safety technology. Freshly tested by ANCAP, the new Camry safely achieves the top five star rating, with autonomous emergency braking, heads-up display among some of the new features on the 2018 Camry (link to accord/camry).
The new flagship from Ingolstadt is a true standard-setter with technology, performance and safety. The German game of one-upmanship with autonomous technology includes a traffic jam mode, with safety highlights including a side impact detection system that raises the suspension on the side about to be impacted, for optimal deformation of side intrusion beams and the strongest parts of the chassis.
In the small car world, the Volkswagen Golf is known for its bank-vault like structural rigidity that often leaves most luxury cars in the shade, let alone its rivals. The latest version’s effort of ##Nm/degree. That body strength number means the Golf’s body can absorb more energy in an impact than a typical small car. Recent inclusions such as AEB also reinforce the classic’s safety credentials.
The third-generation of Hyundai’s award-winning i30 hatchback performed outstandingly for all crash tests including frontal, offset and side impact. The inclusion of autonomous emergency braking and the latest adult and child impact safety research means you can add safety to the i30’s already impressive repetoire, detailed in our review, here.
The use of the new Subaru Global Platform ushers the all-new Impreza (and related XV) in a new era of safety. Both structural stiffness and active safety features including Subaru’s EyeSight object detection system all contribute to its excellent score.
The new, imported from Europe Holden Astra- in both hatchback and Sportwagon form- score exceptionally well for occupant protection as well as pedestrian safety, with a rating of 30.00 out of a possible 36, so not does the Astra protect its occupants with a modern and stiff shell, active safety arsenal and excellent crash rating, it is also kind to those outside it as well.
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