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ANCAP 'mixed feelings' about ute rating

The Mahindra Pik Up scored only three stars for its crash test despite recent upgrades.

The Indian-built Mahindra Pik Up has fallen short of the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) pass-mark for light-commercials in the latest ANCAP results.

The Mahindra Pik Up utility, which has dual front airbags, a collapsible steering column and anti-lock brakes, scored only three stars for its crash test despite recent upgrades to better its safety performance.

ANCAP CEO Nicholas Clarke says he has mixed feelings about the Mahindra result, which falls short of the Nissan Navara's four-star score and five star ratings for the Volkswagen Amarok, Ford's new Ranger and the Mazda BT-50.

"On one level I have to say congrastulations to them for spending time and money to improve on what was a pretty ordinary two-star result, they've put another airbag and an improved restraint package in the car, but the flipside is that it still only gets to three stars," he said.

ANCAP chair Lauchlan McIntosh says there were concerns held over the Mahindra's small improvement. 

"Over 90 per cent of vehicles sold now have either a 4 or 5 star safety rating so it concerns me greatly to see the Mahindra still well below the standard consumers are demanding," he said.

The new Toyota Aurion retained the superseded model's five-star ANCAP rating, with the new model now getting auto-dipping high-beam and upgraded seatbelt reminder alerts added to the outgoing model's six airbags, anti-lock brakes and stability control.

Kia's newly-released three and four door Rio models have inherited the five-star rating of its new five-door hatchback; Suzuki has also retained the five-star rating for the new Sport model of its Swift small car.

The Jeep brand now has a 4-star rating for the Jeep Compass, which was previously rated two stars by the European NCAP test. The Australian four star rating was acheived courtesy of a different weighting for the pedestrian impact scores, according to Mr Clarke.

"Euro NCAP are moving along the same road map to raise the bar but they are a little bit ahead of us on pedestrian safety, the Compass pedestrian rating was poor which can still can get four stars here, but not in a year or two's time," he says.

The Jeep Compass which provides what ANCAP calls a "respectable" level of occupant protection with dual front airbags, side curtain airbags and electronic brake distribution as standard.

Toyota Aurion Five Stars
Kia Rio 3-dr hatch and 4-dr sedan  Five Stars
Suzuki Swift Sport hatch Five Stars
Jeep Compass Four Stars
Mahindra Pik Up Three stars