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ANCAP five stars for Audi A5, Hyundai Ioniq and Volvo S90

Two European cars have been slammed by national safety test organisation, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), for having less safety features in their Australian specification than the same model offered in other markets.

The Volvo S90 and Audi A5 – which, alongside the Hyundai Ioniq, were just announced as scoring the maximum five-star crash rating – were shown to miss out on some features for the Australian market.

ANCAP CEO James Goodwin said the lower specification level for Australia compared to other markets was concerning, with the safety specification of the Volvo S90 differing by having no driver knee airbag.

The Audi A5's safety specifications are also altered, with New Zealand buyers netting adaptive cruise control and lane support systems as standard, but those features are locked behind an options paywall for Aussie customers.

However, both cars still arrive in Australian showrooms with full five-star crash safety ratings.

ANCAP said the Volvo S90's auto emergency braking (AEB) system achieved perfect test scores for both AEB operation and forward collision warning.

The sedan's strong occupant protection and safety assistance scores gave it a score of 34.73 out of 38 – or 91 per cent – in adult occupant protection. It also had a perfect score in the side impact test.

It also scored strongly in the full width frontal and frontal offset crash tests. But ANCAP reported that it received only a "marginal" rating for upper leg protection for the driver in both tests and for the rear passenger's chest in the full width frontal test.

The Volvo also scored highly in side impact, pole, whiplash and city AEB tests and had a child-occupant protection rating of 39.33 out of 49.

This child test showed the S90 gave greater protection to a 10-year old child than a six-year old.

The pedestrian protection test gave the S90 a score of 32.29 out of 42 – or 76 per cent – offering "good" head protection for pedestrians that was attributed to the car's active bonnet, though an impact offered poor protection around the upper bumper.

Audi's new A5, which goes on sale this month, was similarly commended for its active bonnet and sophisticated AEB system.

It scored highly across the board, particularly in adult occupant and child occupant protection tests.

The new coupe scored 34 out of 38 – or 89 per cent – for adult occupant protection, including 7.04 and 7.1 out of eight respectively in the full width frontal and frontal offset tests.

High scores were also given for head and leg protection but ANCAP said the car was let down in the pole test which showed that its chest protection rated only 6.51 out of eight.

However, the Audi had perfect scores for the side impact test and city AEB. The whiplash protection test gave a "good" rating of 2.35 out of three.

In the child occupant protection test, the A5 scored 43 out of 49 – or 87 per cent – and a maximum 12 points in protection for both an 18-month and three-year old child.

However, like the Volvo test data, the A5's five-star rating is based on the Euro NCAP test for the A4 sedan from 2015. Rear-seat crash tests might therefore be different for the A5 coupe compared with the A4 sedan.

Audi scored an "acceptable" 27.35 out of 36 for pedestrian safety, with some "adequate" and "good" ratings for individual tests that showed protection over the bumper and bonnet.

City-based AEB tests scored 2.52 out of three while speed-assistance systems managed only 1.33 out of three. The electronic stability control (ESC) and seatbelt reminders received a full three out of three.

The Hyundai Ioniq electric vehicle, launched in New Zealand last month and here as early as late this year, received a five-star rating.

It scored a strong 34.92 out of 38 in adult occupant protection; perfect scores in side impact, pole and city AEB tests; and 6.16 and 7.45 out of eight respectively in the full width frontal and frontal offset tests.

But the Ioniq was let down in the full width frontal test, showing a poor result in rear passenger protection to score poorly in the upper legs and receiving only a "marginal" result in the chest area. Whiplash protection was rated at 2.31 out of three.

The car's child occupant protection score was 39.39 out of 49. Breaking that down, it received 9.34 out of 12 for a six-year old child and 11.05 for a 10-year old.

In the pedestrian protection test, the Ioniq had a score of 29.78 out of 42. ANCAP said it had "good" protection offered by the front upper and lower bumper, but protection was not as good from the bonnet and windshield.

Forward collision warning and AEB tests gave the car perfect scores, with only a slight down mark for city AEB testing that rated 2.73 out of three.

Speed assistance systems scored 1.5 out of three; lane support systems received 2.7 out of three; and all three seatbelt reminders were installed.

The fourth car tested by ANCAP this month was the Hyundai i20. This model was discontinued in Australia in 2015 but remains on sale in New Zealand.

It scored a four-star rating, let down by its child occupant protection and safety assist ratings.

The i20 received 32.66 out of 38 – or 85 per cent – for adult occupant protection with a mix of "good" and "acceptable" protection. It lost points for not being equipped with AEB. 

Child occupant protection rated 35.83 out of 49 – or 73 per cent – with 9.42 out of 12 for both 18-month and three-year-old passengers.

The i20 then scored 28.46 out of 36 for pedestrian protection, receiving "good" protection from the bumpers, a mix of "good" and "adequate" protection from the bonnet and "poor" protection on the windscreen pillars.

It received full marks for the electronic stability control, seatbelt reminders and lane support systems while the speed assistance system was rated at 1.33 out of three.

Would the lack of certain safety features prevent you from buying an S90 or an A5? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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