Latest ANCAP safety test results for utes and SUVs
New imports live up to their promise.
The latest independent results from Australasia New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) have shown strong results across the SUV and utility segment, with Chinese imports in particular stepping up the safety ratings across new releases.
Some of the most impressive performers in each segment were:
- Utility – LDV T60. Like most light commercial utes, the T60 lacks the increasingly common autonomous emergency braking systems, which impacted its overall ratings. But in its class, it performed well across a range of crash tests. The 5-star rating applies to all 4WD dual cab T60 variants.
- Small SUV – Haval H2. The Haval H2 small SUV also achieved a 5-star rating, which applies to all models sold in Australia from October 2015, and New Zealand from August 2017. Its larger variant, the H9, achieved a reasonable 4-star rating when tested last year, but the H2 offers increased levels of occupant protection which helped it earn one of the highest ratings possible.
- Medium SUV – Honda CR-V. All variants of the Honda CR-V enjoy the highest 5-star safety rating.
More options for buyers
The 5-star performance from the LDV T60 and Haval H2 are a particular improvement over previous ventures into the Australian market by Chinese carmakers. Prominent Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motors has previously struggled with lackluster safety ratings, with 2016's Steed utility vehicle putting consumers off with only a 2-star rating.
LDV might see itself as a cut above Great Wall, but a poor safety rating by one manufacturer might tar them both with the same brush.
These new tests show a drastic step up, with the LDV T60 pocketing a total safety score of 35.46 out of 37, and outperforming other 5-star favourites like the Nissan Navara (35.01), Holden Colorado (34.89) and Toyota HiLux (34.45).
It wasn't at the peak though, and the T60 was still slightly outperformed by the Mazda BT-50 (35.72), Mitsubishi Triton (36.22) and Ford Ranger (36.72). However, its price point still sets it apart. The LDV T60 is one of the cheapest four-door utes in the market, running from $28,990 to $34,990 drive-away.
"This broadens the segment even further with added choice for safety-conscious consumers using their ute for work and weekends," says ANCAP chief executive officer James Goodwin, and it's likely that consumers will be paying attention to this jump in safety ratings.
As you can see, a 2-star safety rating is highly unusual with 4 and 5 stars being the norm. Even buyers that aren't overly concerned with safety first would have had a hard time putting the Steed on their shortlist and might have eyed LDV a bit more cautiously.
"We are confident to reach ANCAP five star," said LDV chief technical officer Hao Jingxian ahead of the testing, in a prediction that's since come true.
It's a strong sign for LDV's other prediction, a 10% share of Australia's car market.
"SAIC [LDV's parent company] has a long term vision for this market, we want to be a major player in every segment and reaching 10% market share," said Lan Qingsong, vice president of SAIC Motor.
Light commercial vehicles and SUVs are currently the cornerstone of Australia's car market, so a high-performing low-price utility vehicle like the T60 can probably help SAIC get there.