By: François Raymond Date: Monday 30 January 2012
EVEN before they hit the road in Australia, the all-new Subaru Impreza and XV crossover have received a five-star safety tick.
Continuing Subaru’s five-star push, the new models join the latest Toyota Camry in scoring the top ranking from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program – which calls on both Subaru and Toyota to lift their work on pedestrian protection.
The press preview of the XV was held this week in Tasmania (see cover story) but Carsguide will not drive the new Impreza until the latter half of February.
Toyota now has a complete five-star passenger-car line-up, although some commercial and SUV models lag on occupant safety. ANCAP is pushing pedestrian protection as well as active safety systems, such as active cruise control, to stretch its reach beyond crash tests.
“Many manufacturers are now scoring in the top category for occupant protection but more attention must be paid to protecting pedestrians as well,” ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh says. “Subaru and Toyota now need to work on getting the top ratings for pedestrian protection.”
The Subaru and Toyota results are the first for 2012. A dozen cars hit the five-star target in December.
But ANCAP is lifting its bar this year, demanding more protection for new-car buyers. It intends adding assessment of anti-whiplash seats and head restraints and also will assess safety-assist technologies for a revised set of standards expected by mid-year.
“In 2008 we said you have to have (electronic stability control) to get in the game. Now they’ll need to have safety assist technologies,” McIntosh says.
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