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2021 Kia Sorento resets active safety standard as ANCAP awards new Toyota Kluger, Mazda CX-9 and Hyundai Santa Fe rival five-star rating

The Kia Sorento’s Safety Assist score (89 per cent) is the highest issued under ANCAP’s stricter 2020 protocol.

ANCAP has awarded the new-generation Kia Sorento large SUV its maximum five-star rating, with the family friendly seven-seater resetting the active safety standard for all vehicles.

Under the independent vehicle safety authority’s stricter 2020 protocol, the Sorento’s Safety Assist score (89 per cent) is the highest issued yet.

In the Adult Occupant Protection and Child Occupant Protection categories, the Sorento also performed strongly, scoring 82 and 85 per cent respectively.

That said, the Sorento only got 63 percent for Vulnerable Road User Protection, losing points due to ‘poor’ protection of a pedestrian’s pelvis during a front-end impact as well as its autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system’s lack of rear pedestrian detection.

Of note, the Sorento’s five-star rating only applies to its diesel variants, with their petrol (and eventual hybrid and plug-in hybrid) counterparts currently unrated.

Meanwhile, ANCAP has awarded the reborn Land Rover Defender large SUV a range-wide five-star rating also under its 2020 protocol.

The Defender also scored strongly in Adult Occupant Protection (85%) and Child Occupant Protection (88%) but not as well in Vulnerable Road User Protection (71%) and Safety Assist (76%).

ANCAP Director of communications and advocacy Rhianne Robson said: “2020 has been a year of significant change, but we’re pleased to see vehicle brands continue to recognise the importance of five-star safety despite increasing standards.”

“For a vehicle of its size and mass, the Sorento also offers good levels of compatibility with other vehicles – reducing the risk of serious injury to occupants in an opponent vehicle.

“In contrast to the Sorento, however, the front structure of the Defender presents a higher risk to occupants of an oncoming vehicle in a crash, and as a result, its score in the frontal offset test was reduced.”