What is the safest new SUV in Australia? The answer to this question is continuously evolving. This is, in no small part, thanks to improving safety requirements as well as automakers resetting the benchmarks with each successive model release.
To many, the ANCAP star rating (out of five) is the only consideration when it comes to vehicle safety, but there’s a little more to it than that. There are several other criteria to help ANCAP rate a vehicle. You can find a breakdown of how those scores are measured here.
For this article, we will focus on ANCAP’s adult occupant protection score, but overall score is also considered, including child occupant protection and safety assist. Please also bear in mind that ANCAP’s criteria will be revised some time in 2020.
2020 Volvo XC60
Sweden’s answer to the likes of BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC leads the way for safety — as many have come to expect from the brand.
With a 76 per cent score for pedestrians, it is kind to other road users and a 95 per cent Safety Assist score demonstrates the XC60 is loaded with effective and well calibrated driver assistance systems.
2020 Volvo XC40
Just like its bigger brother, the XC40 has very impressive safety credentials, albeit in a smaller and more urbane package. The XC40 uses the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) rather than the SPA platform of its larger stablemates. Shown here is the all-electric XC40 Recharge which is due much later in the year.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Mitsubishi’s Eclipse Cross is a more stylish and premium alternative to the three-diamond star’s more garden variety SUV range. Featuring more rakish styling and technology such as a Lexus-style trackpad to control the infotainment system, the Eclipse Sport is also engineered with safety in mind, with a commendable 97 per cent adult occupant protection score and 80 per cent for pedestrian protection.
2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
With seductive Italian styling and one of the best chassis in its class, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Stelvio is more concerned with getting your heart racing than safety. You’d be wrong, however as the Stelvio manages to score one of the safest new SUV 2020 results tested in Australia. Its relatively low 60 per cent score in the Safety Assist category is salient, but an incoming facelift will address that. In any case, that should only worry drivers who are prone to inattentiveness.
2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC
The three-pointed star’s first foray into the electric vehicle realm is as safe as you’d expect from the brand who brought anti-lock brakes and other safety firsts to the market. It could potentially be the safest new SUV 2020 has to offer in the electric category.
2020 Mazda CX-8
Here at Top 10 Cars we are fans of the diesel-powered CX-8, with its sporty dynamics and sharp looks. The fact that it is one of the safest medium SUVs you can buy is quite a bonus then. An occupant protection score of 96 per cent is backed up by child, pedestrian and active safety scores of 87, 72 and 73 per cent respectively.
2020 Volkswagen Tiguan
With a 96 per cent score for occupant protection, the Volkswagen Tiguan is a strong contender for the safest SUV 2020 has to offer. Like other Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda vehicles on the MQB platform, active and passive safety is a strength of Tiguan’s and its seven-seater brother, the Tiguan Allspace.
2020 Subaru Forester
Subaru’s Forester has always been held in high regard, so it’s no surprise that this safest SUV 2020 list features Fuji’s stalwart medium SUV. Subaru’s EyeSight active safety technology has been proven in real world conditions time and time again. The fact it is one of the better handling cars in its class also helps crash avoidance.
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe
A fresh-for-2019 release, the fourth-generation Hyundai Santa Fe features a rigid new chassis and the most up-to-date safety technology. A new V6 variant also broadens the appeal of the vehicle, which is one of the best-selling large SUVs in Australia.
Source, including feature image: ANCAP