In the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) tests, the new Mitsubishi Mirage light-car has ranked five stars for occupant protection, as has the second-generation Ford Kuga SUV and the new Volkswagen Beetle.
The Mirage - which has returned to the Mitsubishi sales sheets after disappearing in late 2004 - scored the top ANCAP safety rating with 34.07 out of a maximum 37 points, including an acceptable pedestrian impact rating.
The Ford Kuga retained the top rating achieved by the superseded model, ranking as acceptable for pedestrian impact and scoring 36.33 out of 37, including 16/16 for the side impact pole test. Ford spokesman Neil McDonald says it was a fabulous result for the SUV.
"We're looking forward to launching it in the second quarter, we expected it to be a high scoring car but it's good endoresment to have the five-star rating, it's becoming a more important factor in purchasing decisions," he says.
Volkswagen's new Beetle - which goes on sale later this month - improved its ranking from four to five stars, also scoring full points for the side impact test and an acceptable pedestrian impact rating.
The bulk of Volkswagen's Australian passenger vehicle range now ranks as five-star cars, with the exception of the four-star Eos hard-topped convertible.
"It's consistent with the results from Euro NCAP and we're pleased with the welcome confirmation of the European results." "It's Volkswagen's 11th five-star car, including Amarok." Volkswagen's Karl Gehling says.
The new model improved its point score by nine points over the previous test - helped by the addition of seatbelt reminders and side curtain airbags - to finish with 35.28 out of 37. ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh says safety ratings in new cars were showing a positive trend.
"With a record number of new cars sold in 2012 and continued strong sales in the first month of 2013, it is most encouraging to see that nearly 70 per cent of new cars sold in January held a 5 star ANCAP safety rating," he says.
"ANCAP wants to see this positive trend continue as we raise the bar for all safety ratings year on year, more 5 star cars on the market means safer drivers, occupants and pedestrians," he says. The Mirage joins a small group of light cars - like Volkswagen's Up - that have ranked five stars for occupant protection.
Mitsubishi was aiming for a five-star crash test rating as part of the car's development program and is pleaseed with the light car's result. "It had been engineered for five-star safety and it's now a complete package, offering fuel efficiency and driveability and now ANCAP-rated five-star safety," says Mitsubishi corporate communications manager Caitlin Beale.