Safety technology has improved markedly over the years and with so many 4 and 5-star cars available on the market why risk your safety with a car rated 1 or 2 stars?
Every year hundreds of vehicle makes and models undergo crash testing by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and are given a safety rating between 1 and 5 stars. Safety technology has improved markedly over the years and with so many 4 and 5-star cars available on the market why risk your safety with a car rated 1 or 2 stars? Even 3-star cars are unacceptable these days. According to ANCAP “You have twice the chance of being killed or seriously injured in a 3-star car”.
We take a look at what they deem the safest and worst cars to buy in Australia.
Safest Cars to Buy
ANCAP officially awards only the very safest cars a 5-star rating and recommends these as being the best cars to buy. To achieve the 5-star ANCAP safety rating, vehicles must have structural integrity, built in safety features (like airbags and antilock braking systems) and safety assist technologies (SAT) (such as lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring). They say the combination of these factors gives the best possible chance of surviving a crash.
In a 5-star car, the head, body and upper legs for the driver are given a green tick of approval, meaning that these areas are more protected in a crash situation. For both the driver and front seat passenger there are a few ‘acceptable’ areas, namely the lower legs of the driver and chest of the passenger, as there is just a moderate risk of serious injury to these areas.
A 4-star car will offer good protection for the head and neck, but only acceptable protection for the chest area for bothSave driver and passenger and the leg area for the driver.
These current makes and models have a 5 star ANCAP rating:
Worst Cars to Buy
ANCAP recommends giving any vehicle with less than four stars a miss if you want to give yourself a good chance of surviving a crash. Again, it is not necessary to buy a car with a low safety rating when there is so much choice in the 4 to 5-star range.
In a 1 star ANCAP safety rated car, there is a very high risk of death or serious injury to the head and lower limbs for drivers. While passengers fare slightly better around the chest and leg area, the head is not protected. If you’re the driver of a 2-star car, you won’t fare much better, with your head and lower limbs highly likely to sustain serious injury. Your front seat passenger has a moderate chance of serious injury to the chest and upper leg area. A 3-star car offers slightly better protection for the driver but still barely scrapes through on safety, while a passenger will have good protection for the head and lower left leg only.
If you would like to check the safety rating on a particular make and model, visit ANCAP.