The Nissan Leaf has been awarded the maximum crash rating by independent vehicle safety advocate, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP). It is the first five-star safety rating for an electric vehicle after the Mitsubishi i-MiEV scored four stars.
ANCAP also announced five-star ratings for the Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus.
ANCAP Chair, Lauchlan McIntosh, said the five-star rating for the Leaf, based on EuroNCAP tests, once again confirmed that green can also be safe. "Electric vehicles are a genuine option for todays new car buyers - it is good news for consumers to see the Nissan Leaf record this top safety rating, " he says.
"The 2011 Leaf comprises a full suite of air bags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution and electronic stability control and intelligent seat belt reminders among other standard features."
"It performed very well in crash testing, with the passenger compartment holding its shape and thus offering superior protection for the occupants." McIntosh says the top result for the Hyundai Elantra reflects the continued emphasis on safety in Hyundai design and production processes.
"Hyundai has made a clear decision to make safety a priority in the production and marketing of their vehicles, and the Elantra joins a range of other five-star models in their fleet," McIntosh says.
Ford has also continued the five-star performance with all variants of the soon to be launched Ford Focus awarded the top ANCAP rating.
"Consumers are now regarding five stars as an entry point for their vehicle choice, so these manufacturers should be congratulated for bringing these cars onto the Australian market," McIntosh says.