A range of new vehicles, including the Mazda 2 and CX3 models, have been awarded ANCAP five star safety ratings.
The Australasian New Car Assessment Programme has also recently given Nissan's Navara dual cab, king cab and single cab utes 5 star safety status, joining the Holden Astra GTC, CTC Sport and VXR models, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
ANCAP has also awarded a four star safety rating to the Audi TT sports car, which the programme says performed generally well in occupant and pedestrian protection but had insufficient safety assist technologies (SATs) and inadequate child occupant protection.
AA motoring services general manager Stella Stock says it is worth nothing that while none of the tested vehicles include autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard – where brakes are automatically applied if the driver fails to respond quickly to an immediate hazard ahead – she was surprised the safety technology was not on the Audi TT.
“As new SATs are developed they are usually included on vehicles at the top end of the market," she said.
"Over time other manufacturers develop the technology for their own offerings. We’ve seen this with the introduction of air bags and electronic stability control for example.
“AEB will follow a similar process and become an expected addition to the suite of SATs on all new vehicles.”
Ms Stocks says technology such as AEB can save lives on our roads.
“I’m looking forward to the day when more mainstream manufacturers start to include the technology as standard to help protect their customers from serious injury or death by minimising or even preventing a crash.”
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has an AEB option on some variants.
Transport Agency Access and Use General Manager Celia Patrick says it is great news for Kiwi motorists that the range of affordable top safety-rated cars is continuing to grow.
"Crash statistics prove that drivers and passengers in five star-rated vehicles are much less likely to be seriously injured in a crash than occupants of lower rated vehicles.
“With today's safety technology, five star ratings are increasingly become the norm and we urge people to buy the safest vehicle they can afford.”
ANCAP is supported by all Australian motoring clubs, the New Zealand Automobile Association, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, Australian state and territory governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.
The full list of ANCAP’s vehicle safety ratings, other vehicle safety information and the specifications of the rated vehicles are available online at aa.co.nz or rightcar.govt.nz.