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Safest used cars

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    The Ford Falcon FG has been ranked as one of the safest used vehicles.

FORD'S Falcon FG is among the safest used vehicles on the road, a major study has found.

The FG is one of 19 vehicles recommended in the RACQ's annual Used Car Safety Ratings. But the list is dominated by small imported cars. Five made the Safe Pick list: Honda Civic, Peugeot 307, Volvo S40/V40, Volkswagen's Golf/Bora and the Golf/Jetta stablemates.

"This shatters the myth that big cars are safe," RACQ executive manager vehicle technologies Steve Spalding says. "Some (large cars) don't have a particularly high rating, while some of the smaller stuff can outperform them. What it means is you can pick a safe car that is still small and economical to run."

No light cars made the Safe Pick list. "That is a consequence of their light weight. In a two-vehicle crash they come off worst because of the disparity in weight," he said.

The Monash University Accident Research Centre analysed records from more than four million vehicles in police-reported road crashes and more than a million injured road users in Australia and New Zealand between 1987 and 2009.

It found a wide variation in the level of crash protection in the 10 categories of vehicles studied. The risk of injury or death is 8.2 times higher in the worst rated vehicle, the 1996 Daihatsu Mira, than in the best vehicle, the 2008-09 Falcon FG.

The average risk of death or serious injury to the driver of a 2009 car in a crash is about 30 per cent less than for the driver of a 1996 car.

"When you're choosing a vehicle, don't just think about your own safety," Spalding says. "Think about the safety of other drivers and road users such as cyclists and pedestrians."


Small cars:

Honda Civic (06-09), Peugeot 307 (01-09), Volvo S40/V40 (97-04), VW Golf/Bora (99-04), VW Golf/Jetta (04-09)

Medium cars:

BMW 5 Series E39 (96-03), Mazda6 (02-07), Honda Accord (03-07), Saab 900/9-3 (94-02), Saab 9000 (86-97)

Large cars:

Falcon FG (08-09), Toyota Camry (06-09)

Compact SUVs:

Honda CR-V (02-06), Subaru Forester (02-08)

Medium SUVs:

Mitsubishi Pajero NM/NP/NS (00-06)

Large 4WDs:

Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ/WG (99-05)


Mitsubishi Triton ML/MN (06-09), Ford/Mazda Ranger/BT-50 (06-09)


Ford Transit (01-07)

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 13 comments

  • To all the Falcon amd Commodore lovers who hate each other, you obviously do not read the full article. "The Monash University Accident Research Centre analysed records from more than four million vehicles in police-reported road crashes and more than a million injured road users in Australia and New Zealand between 1987 and 2009." Only the vehicles that were the safest made the Safe Picks List which means that any cars that did not make the list are not as safe as the ones on the list. You cannot argue figures which uses 4 million vehicles in police-reported road crashes.

    Gimmigiovanos of Victoria Posted on 16 August 2011 2:14pm
  • To Zeljan - your comment "Shows you how desperate Ford is" lol - did you read the story? Ford didn't conduct the test - Monash University did. So next time you start mouthing off, get your facts straight! I guess you drive a VE Crumbledoor, eh?

    Peter Posted on 03 August 2011 11:45am
  • Shows you how desperate Ford is. These cars are dead in the water. No one with a brain would buy one. Since they scrapped the Fairmont they have lost a huge number of sales. Who dreams up these worthless stats? A massive amount of work needs to be put into this area to get an accurate assessment of the true facts. This publicity stunt will not work.

    Zeljan of Tauranga Posted on 02 August 2011 12:23pm
  • Too many questions and not enough answers. How is the FG rated - it is a current model where all others are superseded? Contradiction? First paragraph says "This shatters the myth that big cars are safe," but then they say no light cars performed well at all.

    Dave S Posted on 28 July 2011 11:43am
  • Yet all of these cars are much more expensive for a P-Plater to insure in comparison to their less safe counterparts (i.e. Volvo V40 is $390 for an 18 year old male to insure, while a Commodore or Falcon is $150). If the government wants young people to get safer cars, there should be an incentive insurance wise for them to do so.

    Cameron Posted on 27 July 2011 5:11pm
  • I would be more interested in the results if there was more analysis of the methodology of the study. Without knowing that, one might draw valid conclusions, or completely false ones. For example, as MotorMouth points out, if it is only based on crash data, then the conclusions are fundamentally flawed, as it does not take into account the incidence of accident to total vehicles of type on road. It would also need adjustment for relative kms per annum travelled and the usage pattern of driving eg if a Saab 9000 has a low death/injury rate is it only because they are driven few kms, at slower speeds and in situations where accidents are of less risky impact? Who knows, but it would surprise me if an older Saab 9000 is safer to be in than, for example, a newer Merc S Class (which doesn't even rate a mention but would surely be one of the safest cars in the world to crash in) or even a VE Commodore? Anyway, surely the Saab would have been involved in so few injury producing accidents to be statistically unreliable and removed from the results? On the face of it, these results cannot be relied upon for any valid conclusions.

    Gettit Wright of Canberra Posted on 27 July 2011 1:14pm
  • @ MotorMouth. In actual fact, the study does look at the role of passive safety. Where a vehicle is under represented in crashes relative to the volume of that vehicle on the road, this will be taken into account and the vehicle will with a database weighting.

    Johnstone McTavish of Melbourne Posted on 27 July 2011 12:37pm
  • How many Commodores do you see on the news wrapped aound trees or poles. Commodore = unsafe hoon car

    Jabba The Hutt Posted on 27 July 2011 11:49am
  • @Motormouth - that's why the Commodore was ruled out.

    LoudMouth Posted on 26 July 2011 10:35pm
  • Size matters. Audi tested their A7 against their A3. Both are great vehicles. Both have five star safety ratings. The result, the A3 was destroyed, as would have been the occupants. Size matters.

    Chen Posted on 26 July 2011 9:46pm
  • You two clowns have no idea! Motormouth is blubbering becuse the pathetic Holden crumple door was overlooked as it's a total dud! And the DM clown thinks ONLY 18 yr olds buy used cars? I would love to see the models of Kia you both drive!

    FORD_POWAAAH of beyond the sun Posted on 26 July 2011 7:01pm
  • This study fails utterly, in that it only looks at crashes and has no data on how many cars were able to employ passive safety measures like ABS, ESP and plain old good chassis balance to avoid a crash in the first place.

    MotorMouth of Sydney Posted on 26 July 2011 2:38pm
  • What an 18 yo really wants to know then is, what is the price of the cheapest car listed here? Naming a 5 series BMW is just stupid as most young people can not afford the car as a purchase and much less the cost of maintaining a 5 series which is very expensive.

    DM Posted on 26 July 2011 10:57am
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