The $39,490 Mercedes-Benz Vito van was tested last month at Autoliv in Melbourne's northern suburbs as part of the Australian New Car Assessment Program.
ANCAP chair, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh, said the result was encouraging but given the number of work vehicles on the road, he wanted other manufacturers to build five-star vans and utes.
There are more than 250,000 vans and on Australian roads and few have the safety features of the Vito, he said. “It's great news for trades people and fleet buyers,” he said.
McIntosh described the Vito result as a milestone for crash safety. “They are the workhorses in so many applications,” he said. “I look forward to other companies taking up the challenge to build five-star commercial vehicles.”
McIntosh said commercial vans should be as safe as cars. ANCAP will focus future testing on other utes and commercial vehicles. The Vito was tested in a 64km/h frontal-offset collision, a 50km/h side impact crash and 29km/h pole crash test.
The car was fitted with the optional side curtain airbags, which cost $800.
Mercedes-Benz Australia managing director of commercial vehicles, Ken Matthews, said the company would now consider making curtain airbags standard on the Vito.
“It's something we will consider,” he said. “It would give Mercedes an edge in the market.”
Sample of ANCAP ratings for other vehicles Mercedes-Benz compares to the Vito and Viano
Vehicle Stars Score out of 37
MITSUBUISHI EXPRESS * 8.49
NISSAN PATROL *** 22.17
FORD TRANSIT *** 22.53
TOYOTA HI-ACE *** 23.5
HYUNDAI i-Load **** 25.81
MITSUBISHI PAJERO **** 25.88
TOYOTA HI-LUX **** 26.86
VOLKSWAGEN TRANSPORTER **** 26.93
VOLKSWAGEN CADDY **** 28.46
TOYOTA PRADO **** 29.53
AUDI Q7 **** 29.82
TOYOTA TARAGO **** 30.45
LAND ROVER DISCOVERY **** 31.39
FORD TERRITORY TS **** 31.57
HOLDEN CAPTIVA **** 31.23
NISSAN PATHFINDER **** 32.17
FORD FOCUS 2007 ON **** 32.46
MERCEDES-BENZ VITO ***** 32.66 (was 30.66)
MERCEDES-BENZ VIANO ***** 32.66