A constellation of five stars has been bestowed on the new Toyota Corolla sedan, Subaru's new pocket-rocket WRX and Peugeot's 5008 people mover. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program ranking adds to a growing list of more than 250 five-star new-car choices.
But the 5008 wears its cluster despite scoring a "marginal" pedestrian impact result. The seven-seat family wagon, released here late last year, was scored using Euro NCAP results. Last year, ANCAP's minimum pedestrian impact requirement for a five-star rank was "marginal"; it has since been increased to "good."
The wagon scored an overall mark of 36.41/37 using 2013 European results, with a safety features list that includes dual front, front-side and curtain airbags (through all three rows), with anti-lock brakes, stability control among the features.
The crash test report said the passenger compartment held its shape and all doors remained closed during the crash test but that "after the crash the driver's door could be opened with high manual effort".
Following belatedly in the tracks of its hatchback sibling, the Corolla sedan scored 34.88 out of 37. ANCAP praises it for "good structural protection and offers a reversing camera as standard," as well as dual front, driver's knee, front-side and curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and stability control.
Whiplash protection was ranked good but pedestrian protection scored only an acceptable ranking during the tests, which showed "the passenger compartment held its shape well in the frontal offset test" and that "all doors remained closed during the crash and after the crash all doors could be opened with normal effort."
Subaru kept its range's five-star status intact with its new WRX performance sedan, which trumped the Toyota with better pedestrian protection. The WRX is among only a handful of cars that rank as "good" for pedestrian protection (the 2014 minimum for a five-star result is "acceptable").
Subaru has fitted the new WRX with dual front, front-side, curtain and driver's knee airbag, as well as anti-lock brakes and stability control - the sedan scored well during impact testing, retaining door function and passenger cell integrity for an overall score of 35.85 out of 37.
ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh calls for yet higher levels of standard safety kit. "Unfortunately none of the models in today's release is equipped with autonomous emergency braking - an important safety feature that is now common on popular vehicles in Europe and the US," he says.