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MG GS, Suzuki Swift, Kia Rio issued ANCAP safety ratings

For the first time ever, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has issued a five-star crash safety rating to a Chinese-built model, the MG GS, while the Kia Rio range and higher-spec Suzuki Swift variants have also been awarded five stars.

Previously assessed with a four-star rating in January, the GS was re-tested following running upgrades to the mid-size SUV's safety equipment list, including the addition of intelligent rear seatbelt reminders.

Under ANCAP guidelines, a model's rating will be restricted to four stars or less if its frontal, side and pedestrian crash test results and equipment standards are not satisfactory, which exclude it from completing the side pole crash test that is necessary for a five-star rating.

Hence, the GS was approved to undergo the side pole crash test, which saw the SUV net a maximum score of two out of two, resulting in the maximum five-star rating.

According to ANCAP chief executive officer James Goodwin, the move made by MG to address the GS' safety shortcomings is honourable.

“MG must be commended for upgrading this model, and this achievement raises the bar for other similar brands entering the very competitive Australian new vehicle fleet,” he said.

Overall, the GS amassed 34.47 out a possible 37 points, with perfect scores also handed out for the side impact crash test (16 out of 16) and the presence of seatbelt reminders (three out of three).

The frontal offset crash test returned a tally of 13.47 out of 16, with 'acceptable' protection offered for the driver and passenger chests, as well as the driver's right lower leg.

Other areas of both front occupants had 'good' protection, with the exception of the driver's left lower leg which had 'marginal' protection.

The MG's five-star rating applies to all variants sold in Australia from October, while the model's previous four-star rating still stands for examples delivered from March to September.

Thanks to the new ANCAP system, ratings can be split among a model range, which in the Swift's case resulted in a four-star rating for the entry-level GL while other variants were given five stars.

The Swift line-up's overall score of 35.13 out of 37 was restricted to 32.49 for the GL because of its less-than-satisfactory safety equipment levels, with autonomous emergency braking and lane support system features found in other variants not included in the base grade.

The Swift and Rio ratings apply to all relevant variants on sale from June and January respectively.

Maximum scores were awarded to the light car for the side pole crash test (two out of two) and the presence of seatbelt reminders (three out of three), while the frontal offset (14.39 out of 16) and side impact (15.74 out of 16) crash tests also delivered strong results.

“The Swift is an affordable car, and we would encourage consumers to opt for one of the higher-specified models to ensure they’re getting the best safety package,” Mr Goodwin cautioned.

Meanwhile, the Kia Rio netted a range-wide five-star rating, with an impressive overall score of 35.52 out of 37 coming from perfect results in the side impact (16 out of 16) and side pole (two out of two) crash tests, as well as the presence of seatbelt reminders (three out of three).

Nevertheless, the light car's frontal offset crash test resulted in a score of 14.52 out of 16, with 'acceptable' protection offered for both of the driver and passenger's lower legs. The driver's chest also had 'acceptable' protection', while all other areas of both bodies had 'good' protection.

“There is healthy competition within the light-car segment, and the five-star rating for all variants of the Rio adds to this,” Mr Goodwin commented.

The Swift and Rio ratings apply to all relevant variants on sale from June and January respectively.

Should safety always be a priority when purchasing a new car? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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