The Chery J11 also scored zero in ANCAP's pedestrian tests due to a front-end that "is not friendly to pedestrians and other vulnerable road users." At the other end of the spectrum, the incoming Cruze Series II hatch inherited its sedan sibling's five-star rating and the Hyundai i40 (tested by the European NCAP) also scored five stars.
ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said the Chery J11 had been scheduled for a side impact test but a recall campaign relating to side impact protection had delayed that. "Under ANCAP's rating system, the poor result in the frontal offset test restricts the Chery J11 to a maximum 2-star rating - irrespective of the outcome of the side impact test," he said.
The ANCAP test showed the Chery J11 scored 2 out of 16 in the offset front crash test, which caused the passenger compartment to lose structural integrity and resulted in excessive pedal displacement.
Chery spokesman Daniel Cotterill said the compay was "surprised and disappointed" at the J11 crash test result, given the company's internal test results.
"We were of the view that the J11 would do better than it did - it does however still comply with Australian Design Rules, we work in with ANCAP with this testing and a senior Chery engineer was present at that test.
"Work is already underway to improve the J11, it could take some time - even though the Chinese move quickly on these matters it will still take some time," he said.
Mr McIntosh also said protection from serious chest, leg and foot injury was poor for the driver."ANCAP is still planning to conduct a side impact test on the Chery J11 following completion of the recall campaign. "While this will assess the side impact protection of the vehicle it cannot improve the 2-star rating," he said.
The Chinese brand scored a three-star rating for its J1 five-door hatchback earlier this year, as did the Chinese-sourced Geely MK small-car range.
Fellow Chinese imports Great Wall had three crash test results in 2010 - the X240 SUV scored four stars and the brand's two light-commercial utes (the SA220 and V240) both rated two stars.
The Hyundai i40 achieved its 5-star result following crash tests conducted by EuroNCAP and assessed by ANCAP, while the Holden Cruze Hatch receives a 5-star rating based on tests of the sedan.